A thought on mortality

I hope this isn’t too off topic. It does concern my shop, where I store cars and work on…most everything, lift weights, and occasionally drink a beer or three. I built this shop with the help of my father about 4 years ago. It’s a 2 car shop, and I fashioned it after a similar one in the neighborhood. It has a bonus room above. I intended to use that bonus room for my kids. I thought it might be cool to finish it out, put in heat and AC, plumb it, etc. I thought that would be really cool for them when they got a little older…and didn’t identify with Mom and Dad as much…and they had friends over to spend the night. I thought that would be ideal to give them a taste of freedom before they got all of the responsibilities of living on their own. A few years went by, and my kids got older, and the price of building materials got a little higher, and I put it off.

Fast forward to present times. I never finished it. I think I’m a minimalist. I do not like to store anything that I don’t intend to use in the next year or two. My wife, on the other hand, is more sentimental and sees future value in stuff that no one needs in the next few years. Subsequently, I’ve got 2 couches, a chair, an ottoman, a loveseat, my daughter’s childhood bed, and a sleigh bed stored in the top of my shop. 3 out of 4 of these things I objected to putting up there, but…some of you are married too and you already know to pick your battles.

I’m not decrepit at all. I’m 47. I work out 4 days a week (with my son). I’m 6’2, around 195 ish, and I bench press around 230. I started working out (again) when my skinny, tall son (built like me) decided he needed to bulk up. I run, ride a bike, chin ups, push ups, etc. I actually like to work out. Perhaps I’m a sadist also.

But anyway, my point is, I’m climbing the stairs with the headboard. My hands are hurting pretty bad. I’m kind of hating it and breathing a little. I’m thinking this used to not bother me…. And there are some things that are way heavier up there that I shoved up there a couple of years ago. So it occurs to me that I’m never going to finish this thing out most likely. And what’s worse, there’s some stuff stored up there that I just might not be able to get back down the stairs! Anyway, it got me thinking. I’m on the decline. I guess that’s obvious, but you really don’t think about it much. Or I don’t.

I blame my wife and her sleigh bed for most of this. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


We have 2 grandmothers and 4 parents worth of stuff filling up our basement. I bought a furniture dolly just cause I don’t want to try and do the stuff I used to do. A young 67, went for a bike ride with buds, maybe 4 or 5 miles and my legs turned into noodles. Got stuff too good to give to charity, but not worth much it seems. Wife and I find it so hard to go down and clean stuff out it sits. I am getting little bits done, but it is like do I want to deal with selling a dwel meter, wood wood plane, s shaped wrenches, ford samped wrench, convex picture frames, parlor chairs from the 1800s, cherry gate-leg table etc. etc.

John, finish the space while you still can. I’m 70, won’t be around much longer, and the only regrets I’ll have are for the things I didn’t finish.

As the Bible says, “time and chance happen to them all.” I’m pushing 70 and there’s a lot of stuff I won’t get done. Heck, our daughter will be 30 next fall. How did that happen? Make the most of your time, set priorities, and don’t sweat the small stuff.


I think all of us can identify with many parts of your story. If we haven’t been through it yet, we can see it coming. There are car jobs I just won’t do myself anymore… too heavy, or I can’t bend that far…

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You are still young enough, 67 and well the medical stuff may be hitting the fan, whatever, I am thankful for the wonderful life I have had, the deaths I have avoided, Was it the Indians that said it is a wonderful day to die? I used to fear death, now I accept it will be my future.


It appears to have been said originally by Oglala Lakota chief Low Dog as “Today is a good day to die.” today is a good day to die - Wiktionary

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OK, I’m just about 76. I work out at a gym 3 times a week, a serious 2 - 2.5 hour process. I take meds for high blood pressure and a couple because I had a bout of atrial fibrillation a few months ago. I feel fine, no different than when I was 55, and in some ways better. Yes, I’ll have to face the reality of my mortality some day, but I figure the only way I can continue to enjoy the benefits of good health is to take care of myself. Sit on my butt too much, not good. Make excuses because some jobs are hard work I’d rather not do? No. If you feel like you are getting too tired carrying furniture up stairs, get a good pair of gloves and do it more often. And don’t confuse hating dragging old furniture around with physical decay. Maybe you just hate the furniture.

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I’m 68, definitely decrepit, haven’t let it stop me from similar
renovations. I had to figure out how to do them, which included
building a frame that mounted on hinges so I could swing pieces of
drywall up to the ceiling and rigging a come-along and improvising
ramps with 1×12s to haul stuff up the stairs. I’d bring saws to
the home store to cut stuff I couldn’t manage whole. I found a great
book, ‘Working alone’, by a construction worker who did. It was a
practical book, how to do it oneself, but it was imbued with a
philosophy. You may find it inspiring.

I have more strength doing stuff I like.


My folks have been attempting to clear some of the stuff that’s found it’s way into the house in the last 40yrs. Dad managed to sell a bunch of stuff through craigslist (much of it mom was just happy to be rid of) They’re on the waiting list for the local 55+ community but still maintain their 4ac property. Dad just bought a quad and field mower so he’s not slowing down yet at 74.

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I do what I can and call my sons in law to help with the rest. There isn’t much I can’t do if I really want to. I’m 69, btw.

Despite your good health @Scrapyard-John, you should get a physical if you haven’t lately. Heart disease can crop up at your age and catching it now will give you a much better chance at a long life. I had kidney stones in 2010 and went to the hospital. They did an EKG and didn’t like what they saw. After several other tests they put a stent in an artery on my heart; 95% blocked, and it was amazing I hadn’t had a massive heart attack by then. You probably aren’t in a similar situation, but you don’t know unless you get checked.


A physical is a good idea. One I’ve thought about, and put off, to be quite honest. Will have to get that done. I sort of have a hospital/Dr.’s office/medical phobia. I’m not on any meds and don’t have any conditions like high blood pressure, etc (yet- I know it’s coming).

But, as far as health, I’m probably in better health than “average” for my age. Not that I couldn’t have artery blockage, etc., so getting a checkup would be wise.

I guess I was just looking at the junk in the top of my shop last night thinking we work all our lives for stuff we eventually don’t want, and my wife convinces me to stick it in the top of my shop where it might stay until I’m eventually too old to manhandle it back down the stairs! Maybe I’ll make my son do it in 20 years. :grin:

Old, no longer wanted things are depressing to me. Especially old toys. Sorry for the somewhat morbid post.

I suppose the moral of the story is enjoy your family and friends while you can. Life is short! Merry Christmas.

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Get that physical asap

My dad never had regular physicals

And he paid the ultimate price because of it . . . a cancer, which would very likely have been detected much earlier, and he would probably still be around today

Get those tests, screenings, etc.

Better to find out early and address the problems, versus waiting until you have symptoms and then your condition is already pretty far along


+1 as I said in another thread, I’m 100% an advocate of getting a yearly physical. I’m sorry to hear about your dad @db4690.

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Also being in this age group, I think a lot has to do with your viewpoint.

Being a survivors of the '60’s & early ‘70’s we all put our bodies and our guardian angels through “double overtime” and somewhat surpised to find that we’re still around. Frankly, if my child GP tells me "Well Mr. Beancounter, you’'re getting to be *That Age" again, I’m going to give him a dope slap that he won’t soon forget! :slight_smile:

But the real nice thing about being “That Age” is the wonderful freedom that comes with it.

No Boss, no Workday, no Clients, I do what I want, when I want to (subject to wife’s permission) and if I can’t or don’t want to do it well that’s why God created money 'cause you can’t take it with you.
Frankly, it’s like being 19 again but with a lot more sense and a lot more money. (Wow, we"ve got $5 - $2 for gas and $3 for beer PARTY TIME!)

At 47 you’re just a “Young Pup”, at a low point just coming to terms with age and your kids just becoming adults but with the right outlook the coming years will be absolutely amazing.
Rock On!

John, you also. And the same to all my friends on Ca Talk.

Remember how Mahammad Ali boxed? Hands out to the side instead of in front of his face saying “Go ahead. You can hit me all you like, I’ll just roll with the punches”. That philosophy worked pretty well for him, and I expect it would work equally for you.

Or what golfer’s say “Play it as it lies.” In other words good idea to expect some problems will be occurring in the future, despair-not, just make the necessary accommodations. If you can no longer run b/c of knee problems, switch to bike rides etc. Never hurts to drink a nice cool beer to put a period at the end of the day either … lol …

I’m 52. Went to the doctor with complaint of just feeling low energy, out of breath easily, and finally some chest discomfort under exertion that I just attributed to being overweight. EKG and stress test showed trouble, cardiologist said I’ve got to be at least 75% blocked. Went for the angiogram and stents, she found Left Anterior Descending and Right Coronary arteries both 100% blocked and unable to repair. Circumflex artery blocked 95% but unable to clear it enough to place a stent. I went in for triple bypass 2 weeks later.

Get a physical, and go do a stress test, EKG, and any and all tests and exams your doctor recommends. I thought I felt OK for a guy my age, and I tell you the moment I woke up in ICU after surgery I felt better than I had in years.

And don’t ignore the obvious like I did. My dad had 3 heart attacks, 3 stents, and a triple bypass but still managed to live to 90. One uncle died of a heart attack at 49, another uncle has had a pacemaker for the last 20 years. One of my cousins had a 5-way bypass last year at age 55 despite being fit and trim and active. Knowing my history I have watched my cholesterol all my life, and figured I was OK because it was always quite low. Now I find out heart disease and cholesterol aren’t really related.

OK, enough non-car related preaching here!

you should start taking spplements. i still lift regularly but no where near where i could when i was 32 10 years ago su – supplements really help to just maintain. try using testosterone supplements, fish oil for your joints, selenium for your prostate, Q10 for your heart and an amino acid complex for muscle repair. you might also want to cut out red meat and use plant based protein shakes as meal supplements with probiotic yogurt and anti-oxidant fruits.

if you are 6 foot 2 200lbs that sounds a little heavy unless that is pure muscle. my guess is you could stand to lose five pounds and as a goal that’s entirely feasible.

You got that right brother! I certainly don’t mean to make light of your loss, but I find it amazing that people will live with warnings of disease and ignore them, much in the same way people will live with the check engine light and rough running until it’s too late.

My condolences to you and your family.