Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
The Bliss of 9pm Cereal - How Growing Up Is Rad | 7.7.24

The Bliss of 9pm Cereal - How Growing Up Is Rad | 7.7.24

Candle Into Smoke - The Sunday Edition

It was my damn birthday yesterday, another lap around our star, and so before we dive into today’s Signal Fire: The Sunday Edition, I want to offer up as a birthday present from ME to YOU, the opportunity to finally become part of this unbelievable community we’re building. Yes, you’d be giving me the best gift ever, as your presence IS the presents, but honestly, I think you’ll be getting a gift that’s even better, and that IS this community. SO, for all you who have been thinking about joining us, pondering it, but just not wanting to take the leap, for this whole week, I’m going to be offering up 20% off the usual price for annual memberships. You get to give me an amazing birthday gift, help support this place, keep me writing for you all, and in return, you get access to literally the best group of human beings all waiting to write with you, chat with you, and support you. Plus, you get instant direct message access to me, anytime, always. That’s fun. If you’re ready to try it, click the button below, and we will absolutely love to have you.

Happy Birthday Tyler Discount!!

I’ve never celebrated birthdays, not really, just saw them as one day of many, didn’t love the attention the spotlight of having been pulled into this world screaming all those years ago brought. Truthfully, I’ve never been one that hates them either, never went down that thorny cynical road that somehow related the inevitable passing of time with some deficiency in me, always thought those that did just might have a deeper reason for doing so. Maybe narcissism, maybe trauma, either way, July 6th was always just a day, and if given the druthers, I’d always opt for the quietest option of celebration, the most uninvolved method of acknowledging that I was, in fact, born.

Saying that, yesterday was my birthday, my 43rd on this strange piece of rock that through the magic of science maintains oceans on its surface as it hurtles through an infinite expanse of light and dark, and so today I wanted to celebrate. Not myself, don’t get your knickers in a twist, don't think I’ve swallowed the red pill (or was it the blue pill, I cannot remember the Matrix, I’m too old now) and somehow shifted into someone else. No, today, I want to celebrate the minor victories, the unsung joys, the overlooked privileges, of getting older. You know the old adage, that aging is a gift and all that blarney, well I thought maybe it’s time to investigate it, to dive into the ways that it truly is a gift, one not everyone is lucky enough to unwrap, and how dammit, it’s kinda rad.

In honor of this discovery, I decided it was time I enumerated them, paid a little bit of homage to the small victories, privileges, and freedoms that come with not only growing older, but actually beginning to take care of ourselves with purpose and intent. It’s not always like this, we wander through a youth with an invented shield of invincibility, and I don’t believe it truly wears off until we hit our late 30s or early 40s. I am sure there are exceptions to this rule, that trauma, that loss, can expedite the process, but on the whole and taken as a collective average, it’s around this time on the lifespan we fumble through. It’s here we begin to realize not only our own fallibility and mortality, but that of those around us that we spent so many formative years ignoring. Our parents are people, they make mistakes, they will start getting older, too. Sickness will come, disease will wrap its hungry tendrils around them, or of some other “thems” that you’ve known and loved and called friend or family your whole life. It’s happening. People begin leaving us here, shuffling off this mortal coil for whatever comes next for them, and we spend more time than we’re accustomed to worrying about others, about ourselves, as we then begin spending more time in doctor’s offices or dentist’s chairs, with physical therapists, or mental therapists, all the same.

Remember, the cheapest therapy I can think of is $5/month and it’s right here, in this beautiful community. Take care of yourself, join us:

This is where it all goes off the rails for some, plunging them into some mid-life crisis that leads to owning Lamborghinis, beginning strange affairs, or deciding that this year is that time we’re gonna run a marathon for some bizarre reason. Doesn’t everyone always end up trying to run a marathon? There’s a secret though, a little nugget of truth that is unalienable, but altogether mostly overlooked:

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can celebrate aging. More than that, we should.

That’s right, aging comes with so many more benefits than it does drawbacks, and I say that with confidence despite having lost people I love dearly to illness and the ravages of time, I say it despite having more root canals than I thought possible. It’s better to age, than it is to not. Simple logic, but one most forget to remember. Here now, are some of the beautiful benefits of growing older, of actually focusing on true self-care, that I don’t believe we pay attention to until around this time. I’m sharing them with you in hopes you’ll add to them, yes, but mostly, I’m sharing them so if any of you out there are having apprehensions about the inevitable shift into the latter parts of our existence, maybe it’ll calm them, maybe it’ll shift the narrative.

Without further ado, some of the ways I have found that growing up is actually rad. Feel free to add your own in the comments below:

  • Giving Less Fucks - I’m starting here despite the fact that I was blessed to be born Autistic, and so wasn’t given the requisite number of actual fucks that the rest of my neurotypical community was given, but still, I’ve seen this play out with those I love. We grow older, we give less fucks, we begin to embrace the delightful bizzarity (not a word, see, I don’t care!) of our own beings. We stop caring so damn much about what we wear, what we listen to, watch on the telly, think is cool, or is trending in the world wide webs of our lives. We begin to settle into our own true style, our own inherent way of living, and it’s a beautiful thing. Our circles whittle down from wide and arcing to include many that don’t truly satisfy our souls, to smaller, to tighter, to the center of the Venn Diagram instead of the big blank spaces where the circles of our needs and desires don’t happen to overlap. This is first, because this is best. Embrace this, and things will improve. I promise.

  • Early Bedtimes Actually….Rock - I never saw this one coming, ever, as even a few years ago I was always championing the need to stay up just a bit later, watch just one more episode before retiring for the evening. Now, without fail, 9:15 rolls around and I want my tea drank, my cereal eaten (more on this soon), and my body to be winding down. 9:30 - 10:00pm, I damn well better be in the shower with my teeth brushed, and I want to be reading, in bed, with a blanket over my shoulder that’s out of the covers holding the book, by 10:30 at the very latest. Beyond this, my next day suffers, I feel like I’m dragging weight by the ankles, and I just cannot figure out why. This is why. Early bedtimes rock, plain and simple.

  • Early Mornings Are Inevitable - I remember as a kid, marveling from my own little cavernous room each morning, that like clockwork, my mom and Dad were up and at ‘em, flitting around above me loudly enough to shake the boob light on my ceiling, before 6:30am. WHAT IS THIS ALCHEMY, I remember thinking, how the hell, are they already awake. I’d fall back to sleep, and 2 or 3, or 4 or 5, hours later, I’d wander upstairs to have a bowl of Capn’ Crunch when they were almost ready for lunch. Now, I get it, now, I see. I wake every single day, alarm set or no, at about 6:07 am. I don’t know why, I don’t understand the machinations that make this true, but it is true, and it happens, and it gives me SO MUCH MORE DAY, to do, you know, activities. This alchemy is now within me, and I’m thankful for it. Here’s to catching more sunrises, and that’s something I categorically never thought I’d catch myself saying.

  • 9pm Cereal…EVERY NIGHT - This one is my favorite one, without a shadow of a flicker of a whisper of a doubt. I’m a cereal guy, always have been, CTCs (if you have to ask, boy am I sorry) are my number one most looked forward to culinary item. Every. Single. Day. I count down the hours until I can eat it at 9pm settled into our shitty couch in front of some show on some streaming service I pay too much for. It’s the only time we sit down and just do nothing, and I celebrate it with a dessert of cereal every night. Here’s the best part though kids, as an adult, you could eat this anytime, of any day, for any reason whatsoever. You don’t have to ask permission, you don’t have to explain yourself, you don’t have to barter with your living soul to your parents that it’s ok, or present research backing your claim that it’s probably good for your sleep. None of this. Your “cereal” can be anything, and isn’t just limited to the perfection that is CTC, it can be any whim you wanna chase, any desire you want to satisfy. Pick your passions, chase them, roll around in them, celebrate them. It’s ok. You earned it.

  • The Beauty of No - Our youth is for saying yes to everything, isn’t it? We say yes to things we know are stupid, know are dangerous, know are not what we want to be doing, should be doing, or have ever even considered doing, but we say Yes, because we’re young and YOLO and all that ridiculousness. Now, NO, has the power, and it’s a word we should be embracing more. This one ties into the first one, as we give less fucks, we grow to understand the true ferocity of a well-intentioned, well-timed, and properly delivered No. Say it with conviction, not with hesitation or the ambiguity that comes with a Maybe. Say it, own it, and step back into the warm glow of realization that 99% of the time the No you’re so afraid of saying, truly won’t make the splash your own instinctual human arrogance and narcissism is probably convincing you that it will. No, is a game changer, and once we start beefing it up in our own vernacular, life changes.

There’s more, so many more, but I wanna open the floor and let YOU highlight them too. What are the most surprising, beautiful, and interesting ways you’ve seen aging not as a curse, but a blessing? What are your minor victories in adulting?

Leave a comment

Sound off, it’s my birthday after all, it’s the least you can do. AND, if you’re not already a paid member and want 20% off your annual membership (don’t forget it also gets you a discount in my online shop!) click through below. Easy peasy.

Happy Birthday Tyler Discount!!

Candle into smoke,

I celebrate the aging,

the ways I have changed.

Haiku on Life by Tyler Knott Gregson

Song of the Week

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Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Tyler Knott Gregson and his weekly "Sunday Edition" of his Signal Fire newsletter. Diving into life, poetry, relationships, sex, human nature, the universe, and all things beautiful.