One of the finest benefits that comes to mind when I consider the aging process is the relinquishment of senseless goals, not because my inner-critic tells me how ridiculous setting inappropriate goals is, but because I finally am able to see the futility in those goals.
For instance, it is a great relief to know that I can stop trying to be the best dancer in the world. Not only did that goal take up too many years of my life, but it was also unrealistic from the start. ‘Best’ is a relative term and as elusive as the lead hunk in a wet-dream.
It also occurred to me that even if I believed I’d achieved ‘the best’ status, I probably would have felt let down, asking myself, ‘That’s it? All that work, and for what? Was it worth the effort?’ Worst off, once on top, how long would I have been able to retain the grade and at what cost? (Seeing how short-termed Baryshnikov’s career was, and he really was the best, I doubt it. I mean, who even knows who Baryshnikov is nowadays? Which is a pretty rotten deal if your dead and aren’t able to see how your fame died out, but the guy is still alive and has to deal with it.
And so it is with so many other goals I had when I was younger: unattainable preoccupations that, had I achieved any one of them, wouldn’t have changed me or the world one iota.
Here are a few: having more toys than anyone else on the block, (I gave this up when I finally buried my Dennis the Menace doll… at 35); finding and marrying the Prince, (if it hadn’t happened by the time I was 50, I calculated it would never happen); having my name up in lights, (sadly, a bit of this still remains when I look down deep); becoming the Marlboro Man, (this was when I started to model. I gave up the dream when the poor guy died of lung cancer, realizing God must have had my best interests in mind by keeping this goal out of reach); kissing Ryan Gosling (until I calculated the difference in our ages and realized I'm old enough to be his father; becoming president of the United States, (thank God I woke up to the fallacy of that goal. Seeing how things are going now, who, on God’s earth, you’d have to be even less than a moron to take on that position)
In short, all the grand things I dreamed about achieving or having when I was younger (than 60) would now be a burden. Like getting rich: great when you’re twenty and have your life ahead of you. But now? Buying that once dreamed about villa in the south of France would simply mean having to engage a housekeeper, gardener, and pool-boy, which would eat up my assets faster than the last years of my life.
On top of that, paying taxes would drive me out of my mind; wondering if people liked me or my money would turn me into a bitter old man; the fear of getting robbed would have me barring the windows and door turning the villa into a prison; trying to find a suitable heir would keep me up every night for the rest of my life.
The last superfluous goal I rid myself of is so ridiculous I feel I must dedicate an entire article to its exposition.