When Do You Get to Do Whatever You Want Without Worrying About The Consequences?

"The Little Engine That Could" By Watty Piper, new cargo added by me.

At what age do you get to do whatever the hell you want without worrying about the consequences?

I’m not talking about that “when I’m old I will wear purple” stuff; I mean physically.

It seems to me that life is like The Little Engine That Could. 

When you’re young, life is a straight track without obstacles.  You’ve got plenty of fuel to go wherever you want.  You’re going to live forever (you think), so who cares what you put your body through?  Sex with strangers, pizza and Coke for every meal; where’s the downside to being the beer-pong champ of the world?

As you get older you hit the foothills of the mountain.  You start running, not as a way to get somewhere, but as a means to keep in shape.  Safe sex becomes your mantra, and organic produce works its way into your diet.

I think I can, I think I can!

When you get to your 50s, you’re laboring up the steep incline.  Can you do it?  You’re taking in bran and fish oil like there’s no tomorrow.  Sex is a rare thing that often requires chemical lifting agents. Trips to the gym alternate with new-age quackery in a desperate (futile?) attempt to keep death from the door. 

Then, if you’re lucky, you’ve made it!  You reach the crest of the mountain and can coast the rest of the way down.   You’re one of those people in their 90s who smoke, drink, eat brownies for breakfast and take the tags off mattresses with reckless abandon. 

I knew I could, I knew I could! 

What I want to know is when, specifically, do we hit the crest?  At what age does science figure our bad habits don’t make a difference any more?  When can we get off the treadmill and hop on the coach going to Pleasure Island?

Because I want to put that date on my calendar right now, and circle it.  In red.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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26 Responses to When Do You Get to Do Whatever You Want Without Worrying About The Consequences?

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    So what unpleasant experience/thought/ache/pain inspired this post?


  2. Aaaargh. I talk about this with my friends.
    20s: no thought, no consequences
    30s: no thought, possible consequences
    40s: some thought, some consequences
    50s: thought, consequences
    60s: definite thought, real possibility of consequences
    It’s funny to hear my two older kids say they “can’t drink like they used to.” They are 35 and 36.


  3. Al says:

    Cheer up. I just saw in the news today they’re developing a blood test that can tell you how long you’re going to live. That last year will be a doozy!


  4. Paula's Paradise says:

    I’m sending you a ticket to The Bahamas right now. (Or at least a little umbrella for your drink!)

    The smiles you write help everyone’s Pleasure Party start NOW.



    • pegoleg says:

      Eagerly waiting to see which shows up in my mailbox = umbrella or ticket to the Bahamas. Just a little hint: one would be greeted with a little more excitement than the other.

      Thanks for your kind and cheery words!


  5. Lisa Richart says:

    My Mom is now in her 70’s and she used to tell me that she was going to be dead by the time she was 70. I told her she would have to start living such a healthy life, take up boozing and whoring, and she didn’t take my advice. Now she is in her 70’s running circles around me…I’d say 80’s is when we can start eating and drinking with reckless abandond and start boozing and whoring again! So….since I’m hitting the big 40 this week…I guess I might as well put my gym shoes on and fill out my food log…and settle in for the long haul! I think I can….I think I can….I think I can….


  6. Sandy Sue says:

    Heck, start now. Why worry about consequences? Why let a little stroke or cirrhosis of the liver kill the party (so to speak)? Strap on a leg brace, sign up for a transplant and live large!


  7. I feel your pain, Peggy…I’m trying to figure out how to lose 50 lbs. before I turn 50 in 2 months…I don’t think it’s going to happen somehow! I long for those glorious days in my 20s when I could eat anything I wanted…


    P.S. I added you to my Blogroll today…hope that’s okay…


    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks Wendy, I’m thrilled to be on your blogroll!
      I actually DID lose 40 pounds for my 50th birthday. Hate to tell you I gained most of it back in the last year. Sigh.


  8. Tar-Buns says:

    So many thoughts and emotions to go into here. Suffice to say, these things you speak of are on my mind as well, and the reason I wake up in the middle of the morning with brain spooling when I should be sleeping.

    I’m already seeing some of the consequences for younger choices, and yet, I continue to make some of the same choices. Oh, the shame and worry.

    I hope you have a perfectly fabulous Tuesday and feel better about all things preying on your good humor. Because some of us live for your humor and need our fix!
    Love ya,


  9. Love this post, pegoleg! One of my alltime favorite stories, to boot.

    And agree with acleansurface…never?


  10. Cousin Moe says:

    Always did the right things and still got “blessed” with health issues. It’s on to poptarts and Chardonnay for breakfast for me!!! It’s so much more fun!
    What a great post Peg!! You kill me 🙂


  11. Libertarian says:

    Unlike Moe, have made many bad choices… reaping what I sowed now??? That’s the question no one wants to ask… (sorry, downer commenting today! :))


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