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.