"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

“New” is Not the OLD “New”



Romantic notions,

Thoughtful recollection.

Another year. And time for reflection.


From the time I was a wee lad, I’ve always loved a profound word, or the wisdom of a proverb. When I was a child, my dad would bring home these calendars that had sayings on the top of each page. You know, “Early to bed, early to rise …” – that kind of thing. I would read all of them in a couple of hours and pore over their meaning for days.

I remember thinking how old my grandparents were, years ago, when they were the age I am today. I wondered what it would be like to be THAT old.

“Old age is fifteen years older than I am.”   Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is one of the things I love about blogging with this great community. There is no age – really. Young and old – let’s just say “older” – alike, share their experiences; their hopes, dreams, failures, and yes, their successes.

And their boundless creativity.


It’s like being around one of those electric-y gizmos that has all those tiny lightning bolt things in a clear globe and when you touch it your hair stands up straight. That’s the kind of excitement I get reading about everything so many of you do. The writing, drawing, photography, graphic design, etc. – along with your thoughts and emotions.

I’ve felt younger than I was, since I entered my 20’s. So I’ve been a proponent of the “30 is the new 20,” and then, “40 is the new 30,” and lately “50 is the new 30 40.” :)

Yes, the once-tight pecs are now soft-ish-man-breasts; the eight-pack abs have been relegated to a single-pack; the hair drizzled mostly grey; and legs that used to run 20 miles at a time, are now struggling to make it up a few flights of stairs!

But I don’t envy youth; I admire them. Still relating to their enthusiasm and zest for life. I AM 20, 30, 40, and 50! Really! I am all of those ages. The thrill of bench-pressing 280 lbs several times, running six-minute-miles ad nauseum, flexing 15 inch guns in the mirror, wooing my lovely bride at 26 years old, slapping gel on my newly cut “fade,” and flooring the accelerator on my Camaro, are all vivid memories.

But I also look back at the smiles on my kids’ faces, their sports and arts done well (mostly), and the successes and mistakes I made as a husband, father, son, brother, and friend.

So, I don’t get bummed out as another year ends, and a new one begins. It’s just the next chapter in the book.

As I hit play on my iPod, Eminem rings out:

“Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out
Till my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth …”

I can’t help but think, “‘New’ is the new ‘new’!”


  1. You’ve made me smile today — and it’s definitely been one of “those” days, so I thank you for that!


    New is definitely the new new. Who knew? Well, clearly, you knew…

  2. I love getting older – you just know more what you want out of life. Some people just can’t wait to be “old” though, and are “old” even when they are in their 20’s. I really admire the people in their 60’s and 70’s who are still out having adventures and travelling the world. I don’t understand how some people can give up on life so easily.

    Anyway, I didn’t actually mean to be so profound! That was quite a thought provoking post of yours.

  3. as i started reading, i felt my heart relax and settle into me. i just like to hear you talk…thanks, going for a walk with my dog now.

  4. Eminem! What a hip old man. =P Great post!

  5. Great post and a sentiment I think we can all relate to. And by the way, that Eminem song is my motivational tool when training for marathons. It’s the song I use to get me past “the wall”.

    • Hey, thanks Jim. There are a handful of Eminem’s songs I could listen to on a loop and that one is right at the top. BTW … good on you for running marathons. All the best, my friend.

  6. What a beautiful post to end this year. I will say, It was a smooth read. :) Nothing to think about, nothing to worry about, it was just as if you are saying, “Sit and listen my words”. I sat and enjoyed what ever you said. Beautifully written.
    I am really happy to know a young & dynamic person like you MJ!
    Wish you and your family a very happy new year. :)

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, my friend. I just had some thoughts rattling around in my head that I had to get in the computer. So happy that it was coherent.

      And the pleasure is mine knowing you, Arindam! Happy New Year :)

  7. I feel in a strange way fortunate that I was never athletic and buff in my youth, for now that I’m in my mid-40s I have much the same physique I always did, and I don’t tire any sooner than I ever did simply because I never exerted myself all that much to begin with!

    Great point about still being 20, 30, etc., because of having lived through those years. They’re as real now as they were then!

    • “… simply because I never exerted myself all that much to begin with!” You’re right, Jim, it was a blessing that this occurred!

      We have the same attitude, and I can tell you’re young at heart by looking at your blog.

  8. I don’t know how you did it, but what you wrote is exactly how I feel ( except for the Car because I never have never had a driver’s licence!) I seem to be comparing myself to my parents and the age I am now thinking: Is this how they felt? Am I really old? Where is this all going? Now, after reading your post, I feel better somehow. I will embrace 2012 and the prospect of becoming a Nanna for the first time in a few days (wish she’d hurry up and have that baby already!) and my son going off to highschool for the first time. I guess I will write some new chapters in my life. Love, love, love this post mj – you always put a smile on my face. Happy New Year to you and Cate if I don’t ‘see’ you around the blogosphere before then.

    • Yes, it is interesting how those thoughts run through our minds, isn’t it. Congrats on the coming baby, Nanna!

      Thank you for always being so positive and supportive, vixy! Every time I see your little picture pop up I get excited to read your comment.

      And Happy New Year to you and your family.
      PS I’m trying to find out how I can get Exit Soap.

  9. We must be on the same wavelength. Read my comments on your last couple of posts. :)

  10. Yes! it is like being around one of those electric-y gizmos! Wow, again, straight onto my eyeballs and into my consciousness – each of your posts serve as spring boards for my own inspiration, Thanks for keeping my ‘little scribbly notebooks’ filled up until mid way Feb!

    Have a Peaceful New Year Celebration for you and yours MJ Monaghan!

    • I’m so glad you’re getting inspiration out of this post. It’s always good to get a spark from anywhere to give us an idea for a new post.

      Happy New Year to you as well!

  11. What a wonderful post. It’s so true. I have never regretted getting older. You can’t fight it anyway, so you might as well embrace it.

  12. An award for you:

    Don’t be alarmed. You hardly have to do anything.

  13. Someone has only a few hours to seize the Post Of 2011 Award I’m packaging for you. That was outstanding.

    And to quote The Great Dissenter about relative age? Cherry on the top.

    Give yourself a raise, sir.


    • You’re far too kind, my Omaha-connected friend! Hopefully I can fight off those other bloggers for the next few hours! hahaha

      Have a Happy New Year.

      • I’m scouring the blogosphere–but all I find are sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.

        Don’t get cocky, but I think you have it in the bag.

        It’s 55 and sunny in The O today. It feels like late October, not late December. High pressure in the eastern 1/3 of the country has provided a mild winter so far.

        Great, now I just jinxed it. I’ll expect a blizzard this upcoming week. My bad, Nebraska.

  14. AFTER deciding to nominate you…I finally remembered you already had this award. Regardless..you deserve it twice and while I know you won’t be filling out the info twice I thought you should know you deserve a double award. I mean c’mon people win more than one grammy right?


  15. Michael … You’re only as old as you feel. So, depending on the hour, I feel 9, 18, 37, 56, 75, 94 … Enjoy your writing. Look forward to reading your posts in 2012. Happy New Year.

  16. Loved the post. Thanks for writing.

  17. Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award- http://allaboutlemon.com/2012/01/02/an-awe-inspiring-new-years-surprise/ Happy New Year!

  18. I totally agree…..such a great post! Two weeks ago I became a Grandma for the first time and I can’t believe my little baby has a little baby! It is amazing the lives I have been a part of over the years and I would never want to turn that back…..instead we look forward to all that is to come. :-)

    • Congrats on the new grand-baby, Kari! I still can’t believe we have six grandchildren! I cannot be old enough! But I’m with you – always look forward. If we look in the rearview mirror all the time, we would crash.

  19. Excellent, i’m 26 and reading this post makes me want to live more passionately.

  20. Thanks again for the link, my friend!

Love to hear from you.

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