Thursday, June 18, 2015

Middle-aged health worries

During the previous winter I had become rather seriously ill with one of those carefully named difficulties which are the whispers of approaching age. [He was fifty-eight.] When I came out of it I received the usual lecture about the slowing up, losing weight, limiting the cholesterol intake. It had happened to so many of my friends. The lecture ends, "Slow down. You're not as young as you once were." And I had seen so many begin to pack their lives in cotton wool, smother their impulses, hood their passions, and gradually retire from their manhood into a kind of spiritual and physical semi-invalidism. In this they are encouraged by wives and relatives, and it's such a sweet trap.
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley in Search of America  (New York: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 17 (orig. published 1962)

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