• author
    • Gary Huerta

    • March 16, 2014 in Columnists

    An open letter to a respected foe

    DATE: March 16, 2014
    TO: The Honorable F. Time
    FROM: Gary Huerta
    RE: Mutual Prioritization

    Dear Sir,

    I’m writing to suggest you remove my name from the front of your list. I might recommend you move me back a few pages in what must be a vast and cumbersome workload.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to accommodate you by acting my age for the time being. While I appreciate that ultimately, you will prevail despite my every effort, I must inform you that I intend to give you quite the run for the money.

    Rather than resign myself to your whims and cruel mischief, I’ve decided to go against what seems to be a strong current among many of my peers. The symbolic rising tide I refer to is the belief that one must succumb to the effects of time. That you win. And that we hit your mythical wall and everything goes to hell.

    Sure. It’s a bit of a bummer that road signs are blurry. But I get to wear pretty cool glasses as a fashion statement. And yeah. That weird twinge I get in my back every once in a while reaching for the toilet paper is curious. But I have a dark sense of humor and I often find these temporary paralyzing tweaks while my pants are around my ankles to be good fodder at cocktail parties.

    I see a lot of people on my Facebook page conceding that their age is a limitation and welcome you into their daily lives. But I also have a band of brothers and sisters who aren’t willing to go quietly into the night. If it’s all the same to you, I’m going to stand arrogantly with them and push back.

    I readily admit that you had me going for a time. Some of my clothes don’t seem to fit as well, and at times my body doesn’t respond the way it used to after a night of raising hell. Although no offense to you, I do believe both of these items are more my own doing and less yours. For the record, I never believed that youth is wasted on the young. I had a shitload of fun and frolic and no doubt, I’m paying your cousin, Mr. Piper.

    To cut to the chase (and because none of us are getting any younger), I’ve reached a rather momentous conclusion regarding life – one that affects all aspects of my being and thus affects your power over me. I’ve decided to drastically alter what goes into my body. Of course, I’m not referring to what goes in my pie hole. Where caloric intake is concerned, I have made some changes but I will always enjoy a chilled martini accompanied by a nice wedge of cave-aged stilton. Do your worst!

    The thing I’ve been cutting back on is the one thing that cuts into your arsenal most – complaining.

    As you know, around October of last year I decided that being overly critical of myself and others and perpetuating a negative outlook was making me look and feel years older than my actual age. As soon as I started removing more and more of the dour pessimist on a daily basis, I discovered a more youthful optimist started making cameo appearances in my life.

    When the “My job sucks ass” person left the room, the “I’m grateful for where I am in the moment” fellow took his place, much to the satisfaction of my co-workers.

    Concurrently, I gave “I’m never going to feel as fit as I did” guy a much needed vacation. In his places stepped “Let’s go to the gym” buddy. Of course, I know you tried to get rid of him with burning, aching muscles. But unfortunately for you, he was just too much of a positive thinker to simply walk away.

    Mr. “Let’s rant and rave about the world gone wrong” also hit the road. And just as quickly, my old friend “Let’s create a sitcom” Man showed up. I hadn’t seen him in years and I gotta say he looks better than ever. He’s sharper and funnier than the cynical op/ed columnist of old. And best of all he’s writing with true purpose — not to make money, but to experience joy and be of service to a world that could always use another laugh.

    Last month, I started monitoring my fitness with an activity tracker and this week I escalated my efforts by going out and buying myself a fabulous road bike, even though it’s been more than 10 years since I’ve been an avid cyclist. I did so to firmly plant my flag in your territory and let you know that I intend to enjoy my money while I can and get back to the business of living youthfully. At least for a while longer.

    And of course, being born and raised in California, the land of liberal thought, I’ve happily been incorporating shaman, channelers and healers to set my mind and body on a progressive course moving forward. You may have a ticking clock, but I’m stockpiling spiritual guides, Quantum Energetics, past-life experiences and wisdom from other galaxies and dimensions. That’s a whole lot of happy to combat your misery, pal!

    Like I said, I’m well-aware you are going to win someday. No one gets out alive. You made sure to point that out to me via my very sore ass during my first hour back in the saddle. But where you are concerned dear sir, my new mantra is, “Someday is not today!”

    This is me. Telling you. To go fuck off. For now, I’m going to be one of those positively irritating dudes sitting outside the coffee house basking in the sun and drinking coffee in my biking shorts.

    I look forward to being ridiculed by those old fogies who drink your Kool-Aid and say I’m too old for that. I’ll be the one smiling, in case you need to find me.

    See you soon,


    • Let him KNOW Gary! I want you to know I am giving you a standing ovation for this stern but well deserved lashing. I’m not golf clapping either, I’m jumping up and down slapping my hands together as loud as possible in quite the obnoxious youthful manner.

      • davidlacy

      • March 16, 2014 at 9:13 am
      • Reply

      What a RETURN! I’m attempting something similar. And while I may post something political (because I still enjoy expressing my views), if the conversation devolves into bickering, I just back away. I eat differently (although I also wouldn’t turn down a stiff drink), read more, jog more. It’s been good.

      • Nice! The good stuff makes the good stiff drink even more enjoyable, doesn’t it? I back away from the negative banter, too. No time for it anymore!

    • Love this as this has been my course for years. It does the soul good and with a better bike seat your butt will even come in line.

      • Carolyn Wyler

      • March 16, 2014 at 10:31 am
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      • Heather Alani

      • March 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm
      • Reply

      A positive attitude is critical. I agree. However, I still believe youth is wasted on the young! My line and I am keeping it! 😀 Great column!

      • gabrielle choo

      • March 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm
      • Reply

      GO Gary GO !!!!!!

      • Maya North

      • March 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm
      • Reply

      I never give up. I never give in. I got my red belt in mixed martial arts at age 56 weighing 290 and THEN I got a gastric bypass. People who are determined and who persevere get a LOT farther than those who assume they cannot do it. Try anyway and see. You probably can — whatever it is 😀

    • I love love love this column… got me thinking… also got me away from the computer all day yesterday!

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