8 Lessons My Dog Taught Me About Love, Life, and Getting Older

In the beginning and in the end, it’s all about love.

Photo by Celine Sayuri Tagami on Unsplash

Don’t worry. Everyone gets older.

I often find myself worrying about getting older. I notice new aches and pains and watch my sex drive go up and down like a roller-coaster. Performance of all kinds is more difficult and I worry about losing everything.

When you can, play like a youngster. When you can’t, relax in the sun.

I used to play all the time. I loved sports and got great pleasure out of a hot and heavy game of basketball, football, or baseball. I can still play, but it makes me mad that I can’t play like I used to play. I often feel slow, fat, and clumsy.

Kisses and touches are forever.

OK, I admit it, as I’ve gotten older, I seem to need to be touched and kissed more often. Sometimes I feel like a little kid chasing my wife around, wagging my tail, hoping for a pat on the head. She thinks I want sex (OK, I usually do), but what I really want is to be touched, kissed, and appreciated. But, I feel a little foolish. Should I really be this needy at age 72?

There’s no shame in asking for help.

As I’ve gotten older, there are things I can’t do by myself. I need help splitting wood and hefting equipment into my car to get fixed in town. There are a hundred things, big and small, that I could use help with. But I have trouble asking.

There’s no reason to get irritable, aging is a privilege.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten grumpier, more grouchy, and irritable. Little and big things bother me more. There are days that it seems that everyone is out to make my life more stressful. “Do you really have to get on my very last nerve?” I fight aging and the infirmities it brings. I’ve even written a book called The Irritable Male Syndrome.

Aging and depression don’t have to go together.

My father fell into deep depression as he got older. It seemed that he couldn’t accept the losses that went with getting older. He couldn’t get around like he had once been able to do and he missed having a regular job that he could interact with. Raider taught me that depression is a state of being, not a “disease.” Living in love seems to inoculate us against living sadness and anger.

Whenever possible, go for a walk in nature with a friend.

I grew up in big cities. I was born in New York, raised in Los Angeles, and spent most of my adult life in and around San Francisco. A walk in nature usually meant a quick ten minute race through a park. When the kids grew up we moved to Willits, a small town in Northern California, and bought a house on 22 acres of land.

In the beginning and in the end, it’s all about love.

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to forget about what is truly important. I think a lot about earning enough money to pay the bills. I wonder about the state of the world and whether global warming is going to melt all the icebergs, change the climate, and make living on Earth more and more challenging for everyone.

We're having a conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Main site is https://goodmenproject.com Email us info@goodmenproject.com

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