Aging Gracefully


I’m 36 now. I never gave much thought about aging until I turned thirty-six though, because now all I hear whenever I tell someone how old I am is Forty.

Even when I know I’m saying the word thirty-six to them, I can only hear the word Forty coming out of my mouth.

In my mind, I’m already 40.

I remember I was recently watching a show on TV and someone was having a birthday party. Immediately I thought to myself ‘I wonder what I should do for my 45th birthday’ and then it dawned on me that I haven’t even reached forty yet. Hell, I’ve only been thirty-six for four months and yet I’m already adding an extra four years to my current age.

This isn’t where I thought I would be in my life by the time I hit thirty-six. Still, one of the things I’m most grateful for is the fact that I’m alive and well.

But if the quality of my life is lacking in certain aspects then I can’t really say that I’m living life to the fullest can I?

Most look at the aging process as a game of caps. If you’re not married with a family by a certain age most figure they’ll never be married or have a family. If you’re not secure in a certain aspect of your profession by a certain age most will give up and accept where they are. Everything becomes a deadline once you’ve crossed that threshold into your 3o’s and I never saw it that way until this year.

Yes, I know that age is just a number but as that number increases I begin to wonder what the hell have I been doing with my life for the past few years? And what will I be doing with my life in the next few years? I hate to sound like that old mu’fucka who reminisces on the past by saying things like ‘It feels like just yesterday I was twenty-five.’

Well, it does feel like just yesterday I was twenty-five when I had no major hang-ups about aging. Maybe it was different then because I knew that my impending 30th birthday would be a bit easier to accept because forty was still so far away.

But it’s damn near here now.

And when I think about people who are in their forties I think of grown ups that are established and living their lives. It’s mind boggling to know that in a few years I will be one of those people, even though mentally the thirty-six in my head is really just a forty in disguise.

I’m ranting now. There is no point to this post. I’m simply locked into my feelings as I realize two things;

1) I’m going to be forty soon

2) What the fuck am I going to do before that happens?

Last week I was in my Toastmasters meeting and I was given the task of asking the Table Topics questions. I asked one of our guests ‘How are you going to make your 2015 better?’

It was then that he dropped some knowledge that was both profound and simple where he basically stated that waiting for a certain time in your life to change is stupid. Every day is a chance to transition from one point in your life to the next. That stuck with me and thus made me face the fact that I’m not getting any younger. A new year can start with a new day, so why wait for change when change can happen at any time?

Did his answer change how I hear a different age come out of my mouth when I tell people how old I am? Hell no, I still hear forty.

But I now have the insight to begin ignoring the anxiety of that number and focus my energy on not allowing it to deter me from achieving my goals.



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