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Dentist

How do you avoid being a "glory days" guy

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Been thinking about this a lot lately.  I'm about to turn 42 and during college and for about 4-5 years after that I had what I would consider some of the greatest times of my life.  Good base of friends, lots of weekend partying, poker tournaments, football games, lake weekends, Vegas trips, etc.   It was a good run for me.     As with all things,  they end.   Friends got married, I got married, kids, etc.

It's to the point now where it's been over a decade since any of that.   My fantasy football league with many of those guys is breaking up at the end of this season.   It's tough to get together for anything anymore.. it's just less and less all the time..  I"m sure it's a familiar story for many.

I mostly enjoy being a dad to my two boys,  I enjoy my wife, and my business and finances are very solid though not stellar by any means.. but good enough.

Maybe the past gets romanticized.. but even the most fun and adventurous things I try to do just don't seem as awesome as the past..  is this inevitable?  Is there a switch I can flip?   

When I get together with old buddies... it's hard not to fall into "glory days" talk.. with very few new memorable memories being created.     Any advice from the senior bruhs on managing this?   I've found this bumming me out more than usual lately.

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That's life.  Nothing much you can do about.  I think it's important to think about how good life it in the moment and focus on how awesome life will be in the future (early retirement, kids growing up, no bad beats when you win the Main event, etc.).

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You only remember the good things from the past.  Keep reminding yourself, the past had a lot of crappy times, too.  A lot.  

The grass always seems greener, GB.  When you're out with your old friends, enjoy those times.  And allow yourself to remember those times fondly.  But also remember, they weren't as great as you think you remember.  And what you have now is great, too.  One day, you're going to turn 62 and think back to the glorious years of when you were 42 and had young kids you were raising.  Enjoy the past,  but live in the moment.

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Stay relevant. Have something exciting ahead of you. Adventure. Plan a trip. Be politically active. Have something in your life that fires you up. 

Plus no sin in having great memories. But they are like fantasy teams. No one finds yours as interesting as you do. 

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7 minutes ago, Jackstraw said:

Stay relevant. Have something exciting ahead of you. Adventure. Plan a trip. Be politically active. Have something in your life that fires you up. 

Plus no sin in having great memories. But they are like fantasy teams. No one finds yours as interesting as you do. 

For the love of God, don't do that one.  We need less political people, not more.

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This has contributed to my becoming so dedicated to running in recent years. I thought I did a good job sustaining relationships despite kids, but I've noticed old friends struggling as they attempt to make the transition. No one can seemingly commit to anything anymore, so I've sought alternative means to keep myself "relevant" as @Jackstraw said above. I foresee a time when the course gets corrected, I've seen it with my in-laws and their group of friends as their kids have grown. In the meantime, trying to identify who among my kids fiends parents to befriend. Cause that's the new reality.

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7 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

For the love of God, don't do that one.  We need less political people, not more.

Don't worry.  I used to be into politics.. way back in the 90's.   I quit political stuff when I started college and never looked back.   I used to genuinely enjoy listening to Rush LImbaugh in the car with my mom.  I'm embarrassed about that.

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2 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

For the love of God, don't do that one.  We need less political people, not more.

Amen. Politics is poison.

As to the OP. Do stuff outdoors. Avoid being comfortable. And try to make some younger friends.

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8 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

This has contributed to my becoming so dedicated to running in recent years. I thought I did a good job sustaining relationships despite kids, but I've noticed old friends struggling as they attempt to make the transition. No one can seemingly commit to anything anymore, so I've sought alternative means to keep myself "relevant" as @Jackstraw said above. I foresee a time when the course gets corrected, I've seen it with my in-laws and their group of friends as their kids have grown. In the meantime, trying to identify who among my kids fiends parents to befriend. Cause that's the new reality.

 

Yes, no one can commit to anything.   Juggling people's schedules is a nightmare.

My oldest just started kindergarten and I recently moved into a newer area with more families.. so I'm also about to embark on how to make some newer dudes friends in the neighborhood or parents of kids my child hangs with.

My wife has recently decided to go for it and make new friends and it's working well for her...  it's just that I really like my old friends...  and my college buddies most of whom don't live around here.

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11 minutes ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

The best is yet to come.

I wish i could actually believe that.   That's where the struggle is.

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20 minutes ago, Jackstraw said:

Stay relevant. Have something exciting ahead of you. Adventure. Plan a trip. Be politically active. Have something in your life that fires you up. 

Plus no sin in having great memories. But they are like fantasy teams. No one finds yours as interesting as you do. 

You know I do plan trips and adventures.   But I agree that lack something that fires me up.. and I don't feel relevant.

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The trick for me has always been anxiety.  no matter how 'great' the times were in my past, I always went through them with a sense of wistfulness in knowing they were fleeting moments anyway.  Works kind of like how a shock collar works on a dog: I get close enough to recognize it but if I get to close...ZZZZZZAAAAP.

Plus, you may as well treasure those memories before old age robs you of them anyway.

Closer to your point, though, I'll share an actual 'moment' similar to what you describe. Over this past Summer, I got together with a few guys that I grew up with, including one I haven't seen since shortly after I got married 20+ years ago.  Two of them had moved out of town decades ago and even though we're FB friends, that's way different.  When we got together, we actually kind of picked up our old rhythms in our conversations, and while much of it was just catching up type of talk, we also did talk about current events with each other.  As far as being involved in each other's lives again, that's definitely out of reach now, as we all have our own interests, but it was still great getting together with them and it didn't feel like we didn't know each other anymore.  For me, that last point was the most important.  Even though we had basically all gone our own ways, the 'chemistry' we had created growing up together was still there, and as long as we have all our marbles, we're probably going to be lucky enough to keep picking up where we left off each time we get together.  Who knows, maybe we'll all end up in Florida together for our twilight years.

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And as for 'feeling relevant', I'd stop worrying about that and just be comfortable in your own skin.  It took me almost 50 years to get to that point but now that I'm there, I feel better about myself AND my station in life, such as it is.

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you should have had a ####tier upbringing and 20s. too late now, you blew it.

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Whenever I get a little nostalgic, I try to focus on the bad aspects of that period of my life which makes my current life seem a lot better.    For instance, I loved college life, but I sometimes have this nightmare that I have this huge exam tomorrow or paper to write and that I haven't even started.   Then I wake up and realize that was just a nightmare and all I have to do is just go sit at my work computer for 8 hours today spending a lot of it just surfing the web.   I'm so grateful that I never have to cram for an exam or write some huge paper ever again.  So in short, focus on the positive things of the present and the negative things of the past.  That's today's lesson.

Edited by NutterButter
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I knew some guys who I grew up with who were on the wrong side on the grass at 42.    Enjoy life!!

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12 minutes ago, Mad Cow said:

Believe it or not, those days are now.

 

5 minutes ago, Gawain said:

Keep doing awesome #### now.

:goodposting:

stop worrying about what you did in the past Dentist and live in the moment.  That’s all we’ve got.

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1 hour ago, Dentist said:

When I get together with old buddies... it's hard not to fall into "glory days" talk.. with very few new memorable memories being created.

At a certain point in life, you know what's behind the curtain and things aren't as exciting as you once believed. 

While it's very likely no new memorable moments are being created as a group, Im guessing they are still being created for you personally, away from the other guys. 

If you dont think thats true, ask yourself if you are creating memories for your kids.  You may not think things aren't as fun and awesome as they used to be, but I bet the kids do. 

 

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Study's have shown that for most, people report being happier as they age. I think some of it is no longer fear of the unknown. There is a significant amount of pressure in our lives that we do not realize. Jobs, kids, houses....."stuff". As we begin to have some of those dropped from us I think quality of life improves. 

I have great optimism for the backside of life. I have a lot of Glory day memories and fortunately some very old freinds to share them with. So in many ways I feel like I'm playing with house money. 

48 year old middle class white buy BTW. 10 years from retirement. 

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1 minute ago, Cjw_55106 said:

At a certain point in life, you know what's behind the curtain and things aren't as exciting as you once believed. 

While it's very likely no new memorable moments are being created as a group, Im guessing they are still being created for you personally, away from the other guys. 

If you dont think thats true, ask yourself if you are creating memories for your kids.  You may not think things aren't as fun and awesome as they used to be, but I bet the kids do. 

 

Yeah, I've always believed that the beginning of your life is for you.  Have fun and be selfish.  But once you have kids, your life is for them.  And that doesn't mean you don't get to have fun, but your first job is to make sure they have fun.  And they have memories and stories to tell.  

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1 minute ago, AAABatteries said:

 

:goodposting:

stop worrying about what you did in the past Dentist and live in the moment.  That’s all we’ve got.

Maybe these feelings I'm having are some mild depression.

I mean I take trips, I get out of the house, I goto baseball games, football games.  I have another FFL league that's 20+ years strong on dentist friends and at least 8/10 fly into the draft every year, which is incredible    I have great kids, attractive wife, nice house, new car..  most people would think I'm crushing it.

And I wont' OVERLY romanticize the past..   I"m young enough to remember while I as living it that I really didn't like where my career was at the time... so I had some definite dissatisfaction there.

But dang do I miss hanging out with the guys playing poker, or video games...  and possibly above all I kind of miss having time to myself.. which a married guy with a career and no kids gets none of.

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Just now, Dentist said:

Maybe these feelings I'm having are some mild depression.

I mean I take trips, I get out of the house, I goto baseball games, football games.  I have another FFL league that's 20+ years strong on dentist friends and at least 8/10 fly into the draft every year, which is incredible    I have great kids, attractive wife, nice house, new car..  most people would think I'm crushing it.

And I wont' OVERLY romanticize the past..   I"m young enough to remember while I as living it that I really didn't like where my career was at the time... so I had some definite dissatisfaction there.

But dang do I miss hanging out with the guys playing poker, or video games...  and possibly above all I kind of miss having time to myself.. which a married guy with a career and no kids gets none of.

Go talk with someone, meaning a shrink or therapist.  Not because I think you're crazy or anything like that, but if you think it's depression, talking with someone can be a great way to combat it.  Sometimes, just talking with someone can help out a lot.

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2 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Yeah, I've always believed that the beginning of your life is for you.  Have fun and be selfish.  But once you have kids, your life is for them.  And that doesn't mean you don't get to have fun, but your first job is to make sure they have fun.  And they have memories and stories to tell.  

Yeah... that's probably true, though I guess the selfish part of me wants to go big also.

Edited by Dentist

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This is an important discussion to have.  We spend so much time talking about ways to take care of our bodies and so little time talking about ways to take care of our minds when the latter is just as important if not more so.   You would never tell someone looking for advice on how to lose weight to just not eat so much.   Its so much more nuanced than that, we all have elaborate histories and what works for one person may not work for another.   

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Maintaining friendships as you age is very difficult, but I think very important to happiness and mental well-being.  Above all, it takes time.  It is honestly hard work, but very important to your happiness.  My dad was a very social guy. Growing up, his friends were always around us.  As he got older, he moved around a lot and I think maintaining those friendships became very difficult for him in his late 60s and 70s.  He was still very socially active, but I think that began to tail off as he could not maintain genuine friendships.  Eventually, I think he gave up.  I think this is an important topic.  I know there's schtick potential, but I would say depression and even suicide is a bigger issue for white male middle-to-late aged guys than we acknowledge.

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26 minutes ago, Dentist said:

But dang do I miss hanging out with the guys playing poker, or video games...  and possibly above all I kind of miss having time to myself.. which a married guy with a career and no kids gets none of.

Two things:

1. is there any reason you can't hang out and play poker?  I don't any more just because I lost the enjoyment (same with playing FF).

2. time to yourself you just have to negotiate or somewhat put off for a little while when the kids are young.  I can attest to time freeing up once they are older.  But either way, talk to your wife and make sure both of you have some down time to get away - whether for an afternoon or even a few days.  I just got back from 3 days of backpacking with a buddy of mine - it was great.  You kind of have no one to blame but yourself if you don't do these things - we know you have the time and the funds, just talk to the wife and make it happen. 

Also, for time to yourself - one thing I've found is going to work out or in particular running and hiking are great for that.  YMMV.

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guys need camaraderie :thumbup: 

 

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49 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Maintaining friendships as you age is very difficult, but I think very important to happiness and mental well-being.  Above all, it takes time.  It is honestly hard work, but very important to your happiness.  My dad was a very social guy. Growing up, his friends were always around us.  As he got older, he moved around a lot and I think maintaining those friendships became very difficult for him in his late 60s and 70s.  He was still very socially active, but I think that began to tail off as he could not maintain genuine friendships.  Eventually, I think he gave up.  I think this is an important topic.  I know there's schtick potential, but I would say depression and even suicide is a bigger issue for white male middle-to-late aged guys than we acknowledge.

My dad's friends were around a lot when we were younger also.

Around his 60's those have started to deteriorate.. and when he felt like the effort given by other people was so paltry.. he eventually gave up as well...  and I think some of those losses are legitimately disappointing to him.

I notice the same thing.  Granted I've always been the glue guy for the groups I'm associated with.. but it begins to wear you out when if you don't organize something that nothing gets organized.. ever.

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Accept the things you don't control/can't change and focus on the things you can control/change.

Be thankful for those "glory days." Some people do not have such times. 

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43 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

Two things:

1. is there any reason you can't hang out and play poker?  I don't any more just because I lost the enjoyment (same with playing FF).

2. time to yourself you just have to negotiate or somewhat put off for a little while when the kids are young.  I can attest to time freeing up once they are older.  But either way, talk to your wife and make sure both of you have some down time to get away - whether for an afternoon or even a few days.  I just got back from 3 days of backpacking with a buddy of mine - it was great.  You kind of have no one to blame but yourself if you don't do these things - we know you have the time and the funds, just talk to the wife and make it happen. 

Also, for time to yourself - one thing I've found is going to work out or in particular running and hiking are great for that.  YMMV.

1)  the guys don't play poker anymore... financially the game didn't work anymore.     I do still play in a nearly once a month dentists game with acquaintances.   I wish I could play more on my own.. but at the same time I know that is selfish to want to take what free time I have and go sit on my butt in a casino rather than spend time with either family or friends.

2) I have a yearly draft trip with buddies (2 days) and a fishing trip  (2.5 days).   So it's not like I do nothing...  it's just that I wish it were more.

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1 hour ago, Dentist said:

 

.. so I'm also about to embark on how to make some newer dudes friends in the neighborhood or parents of kids my child hangs with.

 

Tell you what - I'll bring the deep fryer over. Pull a TV into the garage and turn on some football. Have a cooler of brews out.

We'll fire up some fries and people will FLOCK over to your house to check out the goodness in all its glory. You'll be the new place to be. :headbang:

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1 minute ago, Don't Toews Me said:

 

Be thankful for those "glory days." Some people do not have such times. 

My wife and I have talked about this.   Because whenever we get a date night we go somewhere downtown near where we used to both live.. and talk about places we used to go.

We both kind of get into glory days mode sometime.. and we are thankful that we even have those memories and have many of those people in our lives still

And on some level.. it's our own fault new great stories don't form because none of us really want to drink, have a hangover and be silly and lazy like in the old days... sadly there's "too much to do".

And that maybe is the best part about the old times..  the lack of responsibility. 

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2 hours ago, Dentist said:

weekend partying, poker tournaments, football games, lake weekends, Vegas trips, etc.  

It's tough to get together for anything anymore.

Its tough because someone has to plan it. Be that guy (I usually am in our group). Pick an activity/event. Get a place. Invite people to come. First year/time is the hardest. Work out the logistics, make it a good time, and people will want to come again next year/time. If no one initiates it, nothing will ever happen. 

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I’m glad Al Bundy had that 4 TD game to look back on. 

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As most of my favorite memories revolve around my son these days, I don't see why kids/families can't be integrated into memories with friends.  With lake house, for example, it's pretty easy to find one on Air BNB that can fit 12-15 people.  You could probably get 3-4 families together.  Kids can have fun swimming in the lake and having fun together, if they are of the right age for that; you can do a bit of grilling and hanging out with friends around the fire pit after the kids go to bed (just don't invite Man in Yellow Hat (or whoever it was) that had the unfortunate camping trip).

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Welcome to the ultimate bad beat known as life. 

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Maybe it's because I was never a huge partier, or because I am a relatively new dad, but I generally enjoy life now at 35 more than I did at 22. Sure, college was great, but as I age, I find every new stage in life to be awesome.  The joy I have playing with my 2 year old and hanging out with my wife is great, just in an entirely different way from my early 20s. 

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41 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

guys need camaraderie :thumbup: 

 

This!  My wife gets it too.    She always tells me the couple times a year I get together with my old buddies and we stand in someone's garage around a keg of beer or an outdoor fire watching football and telling the same stories we have be telling for 25 years..except every year they get a little more embellished  that I seem so happy and laughing till I cry sometimes.  

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35 minutes ago, E-Z Glider said:

Its tough because someone has to plan it. Be that guy (I usually am in our group). Pick an activity/event. Get a place. Invite people to come. First year/time is the hardest. Work out the logistics, make it a good time, and people will want to come again next year/time. If no one initiates it, nothing will ever happen. 

I am..  and you know what cancellations over the years have just worn me down.    First it was my annual Kentucky Derby party..  it was a good party, great food, great drinks, I hosted a wagering portion..  we had yard games.. everything was free..    and then people just stopped coming to the point where I had to cancel it this year due to a complete lack of attendence.

Then the fantasy football league..  went from 12 guys I knew to 10 to 8 to 6   (always maintained a 12 man league).. and this year we just had our final draft because I decided I didn't want to do it anymore.. but also didn't want the league to die without a send off year.

I'm the guy who has the 20 game baseball package that I invite my friends to go with me...  and it used to be easy to get people to go.. then i started getting more "no's" or "not weekdays"  and I dropped the package to 15.. and next stop is 10.

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The main reason I haven’t got married or had kids.   I have no interest in stopping the glory days.   Every weekend is the adventure I want it to be.  I’ll never give up that freedom. 

Society frowns upon my decisions but I don’t really care.

Edited by TripItUp
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26 minutes ago, Don Quixote said:

As most of my favorite memories revolve around my son these days, I don't see why kids/families can't be integrated into memories with friends.  With lake house, for example, it's pretty easy to find one on Air BNB that can fit 12-15 people.  You could probably get 3-4 families together.  Kids can have fun swimming in the lake and having fun together, if they are of the right age for that; you can do a bit of grilling and hanging out with friends around the fire pit after the kids go to bed (just don't invite Man in Yellow Hat (or whoever it was) that had the unfortunate camping trip).

 

I live near a a lake and invite friends and their families to come and boat with me.   They don't have to pay for anything.. just show up.    Still.. people are too busy with work, kids stuff, etc, etc, etc..   can't make it happen all the time

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