Signs of Aging

One of the signs of aging (aside from my expanding mid-region, my balding head, and my greying beard) is my decreasing ability to make decisions.

I can see now why many people (myself included) believe that elderly should have their driving skills re-testing as they age. I mean, I notice now how my response time to things is not what it was when I was in my teens and twenties. Hell, I’m even finding non-urgent responses problematic.

Case in point: Randy pointed out, quite accurately, that I’d ceased taking classes when we met. Prior to meeting, I took 1 or 2 courses every semester for five or six years. The semester we met (September 2006) I was taking one course at graduate level. Within a week of meeting him I decreased my status to auditing, by the third week of class I ceased attending altogether.

I’m not blaming him. Not at all. But I guess after graduating in the spring of 2006 there didn’t seem much point. Besides, we do so much traveling it conflicts with the course work (and given the option of seeing the world and gaining real life experiences versus sitting in an overly-heated class room while there is perfectly good internet porn to be surfing at home, I’d opt for the travel and porn).

Anyway, as my home-life has settled down a bit (we’ve moved, we’ve done the “renovations”, we’ve only got one trip coming up this semester), Randy suggests I go back to school. Actually, he says I should go back to school towards another degree. I’m still not sure I’m up for another 12 courses plus thesis as I’m fast approaching 39 years of age (did I mention the balding and greying?). But perhaps I could test the waters this semester with a “fun” course to see if I still have it in me.

And this is where I realize I’m getting old. I’ve determined that I’m willing to give academia another shot. But now I can’t make the decision ‘how.’ I mean, I’ve picked the class (an urban planning course at Harvard). I just can’t decide whether to take it at graduate level (in case I decide to work towards a degree someday), undergraduate level (just so I can have a grade), or simply audit the class (this way, there is no bad grade on my transcript if I’m unable to focus).

It shouldn’t be that tough. But I can’t decide. If I was in a car going 65mph and a deer ran in front of me, I’m starting to question whether I’d be able to decide what to do (hit it? swerve left? swerve right? Hit the breaks?) I’d probably be in hospital a month later before the “Eureka!” moment hits me and I decide what my best option is (or, in that case, would have been).

A little too late.


  1. Comment by Melody on January 27, 2010 1:16 pm

    Okay ye old one! You crack me up with your approaching 39 comment. I’m 5 years older than you are and I don’t have as much a problem as you do making a decision. 🙂

  2. Comment by Randy on January 27, 2010 4:28 pm

    Yea Karl just has issues making decisions. He doesnt like to do it. Hes also bad in the car now making decisions. Like which way do I turn, or what would you do? Why not just drive and its ok so long as you dont hit someone.

    Take the class grad level. You are smart enough to do it and it will force you to think and focus.

  3. Comment by snarl on January 27, 2010 4:49 pm

    OK, I am officially registered for a course AND have ordered my course books. So, Randy, no complaining if I’m not available on weekends to go out and do things!

  4. Comment by Jeffrey on January 27, 2010 4:52 pm

    I relate to your decision making conundrum. I hate making decisions but find that the older I get the more I say “Why not?” I’ve learned this at the advanced age of 32.

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