On the eve of my thirty-ninth birthday

Wow.  It’s difficult to believe that I am a day and a year from officially hitting middle age.  I remember how happy I was to turn eighteen and later twenty one.  It’s strange, though, I am just as excited for my thirty-ninth and later fortieth birthdays.  I could look back at the wonder and excitement of my youthful days.  I could just as easily look back sadly at my regrets and heartaches.  I won’t do either.  I’m just glad I survived both.

I have lived through seven Presidents.  I have lived through the dawn of the eight track, it’s transition to cassette, DVD and eventually digital down loads.  I remember getting my Mtv.  I remember being one of the first families on the block with a microwave oven!  I remember taking typing classes in high school on typewriters that were probably antiques when my grandfather was a child.  I remember a lot, but that’s not really important.

What inspired me to write this was a friend of mine who just turned twenty eight and was bemoaning the fact that she is now “old.”   I found that really funny.  I was at my absolute best between twenty five and thirty five.  My life, job and family were at it’s peak.  Looking at middle age, I look back fondly, but by no means have I decided my life is over.

I look at my grandfather, who is ninety one.  He was once asked, by a friend of mine if he was at peace with things and ready for death.  His response was, “Hell no!”  It was a funny moment, yet a telling one.  Even at his age, he wants to live, to enjoy every day, to still have fun.

Yes, my hair is a tad grayer.  It’s true I have wrinkles that I never did before.  I get a few aches and pains in joints that always used to work just fine.  Regardless of those minor inconveniences, I’m alive and that’s a good thing.  I’ve been divorced twice and only see my two sons on weekends, but my life hasn’t ended.  My dedication as a dad (or Papa, as my kids know me) hasn’t ended.  I look forward to my new day as a thirty nine year old man.  I look forward to the day when I hit forty, fifty, sixty, seventy and beyond.  I am wiser, but I am still me.

For anyone who fears losing a decade, turning twenty, thirty, forty, whatever, just remember tomorrow is a new day.  Whether you want to have a sleepy movie marathon on the couch or go on a wild adventure, it is still another day you have.

So from a soon to be middle aged man to you, just enjoy the days and years of your lives.

Brian Holder




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