In which I have a conversation with myself about aging.

On Gratitude

684 words about health — 05:47 · 10th Jun 2024

In less than six days I’ll be 40 years old.

That’s about halfway now, for anyone keeping count—obviously, it’s me, I’m the one keeping count.

and the question that came to mind was, “What have you got to show for?”

which is, “rude,” for starters. Or well, no, it’s not rude but it’s definitely not a particularly nice question, asked by a particularly nice man.

But I guess that just means that I’m not a particularly nice man.

Setting aside the rudeness by which I sometimes treat myself—shame on you, bad Carlos—what’s even more interesting is the answer that followed almost immediately, showing that for once, I have managed to grow beyond my initial self-bullying.

“So much, look at all this love, courage, and warmth, and silliness you’ve managed to let in when it showed up.”

“Yes, you’re right, I have gotten better at letting the silliness in again.”

“You really have. Keep going, obviously, don’t stop now but also, good on you.”

“What’s next then?” I ask myself, completely aware that I’m the only participant in these imaginary conversations.

“What about that stillness thing, you still looking for that?”

“No, I don’t think I am, I think I’ve got enough of it, for now.”

“Health,” I realise, “I’d quite like some of that, some days with less pain, less distractions from all this joy that I finally allow myself to feel.”

“That’s a harder one, I’m afraid. Pain tends to grow with the years, and your mind might be becoming more resilient but your body, well, your body in particular, has been beaten to shit by younger Carlos, so, yeah. Word of advice, just enjoy the moments that are physically easier, and get back to that fucking strength training, you know it was working.”

“Good point,” I think and pick up the dumbbells lying right behind me, doing a few bicep curls and shoulder presses before I’m reminded that I currently can’t breathe through my nose very well. I can’t tell if it’s a cold, a seasonal allergy—yes, I’m having to consider whether I’ve gotten allergic to fucking trees now—, lond covid, or perhaps the inevitable collapse of my face.

“So many lovely candidates, ey?”


“Aging is adding more to that list, you know.”

“I think I’m beginning to realise that.”

“It’s not all misery but there is a lot of, accidentally bending a little bit too much to reach something behind the sofa and now your back is fucked for a week.”

“Oh, fun.”

“Yeah, it sucks, we know.

Long pause.

“Look, all we’re saying is, when you blow out the candles on your cake this year, maybe, you know, take it a bit easy, don’t blow too hard.”



“Can you ask you something else?”

“Of course! This is your blog monologue after all.”

“What about the acid reflux?”

“Yeah, we don’t know what that one’s about, you need to go see a doctor.”

“It could be that it’s on the list, but hey, you’re old now, so maybe better be safe than dead.”

“Fine. I will. Thank you though, I’m grateful we’re still able to have these chats you know. My dad left when I was 2 years old, I often feel like I missed and miss out on having something to ask these questions of.”

“We know, we all know. And yeah, it’s hard when you have to be the role model you never had. But I hear you’re still working on that one.”

“Yeah, I reckon I always will.”

“You will. You’re now older than he was when he left, so you know, that’s cool I guess. Did you really wanna talk about your daddy issues again though or was this just a by-the-by?”

“Oh, just stopping by, making sure that particular shithole of a room on my mental Fortress of Solitude is still there.”

“Oh, it’s still here, don’t worry.”


“any time. happy 40th btw, you look good for 40, not at all as tired on the outside, if it’s any consolation.”

“Ha, thanks. You too, I mean no, oh no wait. Oh, right. Yeah, you too.”

You’ve just read On Gratitude.

In which, 1 week ago, I wrote 684 words about health and I covered topics, such as: journeys , and psychology .