I'm lying in bed on a Saturday morning. The sun is out, the temperature fine. And I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I'm not sick. Just tired. Two cups of coffee and 9 hours of sleep and I can't get motivated to rise and shine. Yet I'm having trouble relaxing and allowing myself to do nothing. Some might call this response FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. But at 57, I think it's something different: FOGO - Fear Of Getting Old.
In my younger, wilder years, I had no problem lying around all day. In fact, my weekend routine often consisted of lying on the couch watching HBO all day, then ordering pizza. One of just a few times I'd rise all day. Of course that was often preceded by a night of varying degrees of debauchery with my friends. My roommate would be up and out almost at the crack of dawn (OK, 9 or 10 am); I didn't care. No shame whatsoever. It never occurred to me that I was missing anything. All the fun stuff happened after dark back then, as I saw it.
But with those days long out of my system, I cherish my days, particularly the ones driven by my own whims. The only time you'll find me laid out is when I'm sick. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the larger world around me, beyond the confines of a comfortable horizontal surface. Most workdays are fairly routine so I value the 48 hours I get to fill with whatever I please. Feeling exhausted to the point I can't get up and at it is scary. I imagine it feels more like 77 than 57. I'm too young to feel this exhausted. It's FOGO at its best.
I'm not afraid of my age. I just don't want to feel it. For my dad's 90th birthday I gave him a card posing the question "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" Inside I wrote "I bet you're like me and you still, in your mind, feel 24." And it's true. I don't want to be staying up all night like I did at 24 - God forbid. I just want to have the energy to do all the things I never did during the day back then. Maybe I'm trying to make up for that lost time. With a body well over twice as old. Maybe I made that choice a long time ago. But I hope not.