Lordy, Lordy – Thoughts on turning 40

As I have said before, I am not generally one to get stuck on milestone birthdays. I have always been fortunate enough and that makes me feel pretty good about birthdays (or maybe it’s just because I lost my hair so very, very long ago, so I’ve had no choice but to get over it). This year, for starters, I have a wonderful, healthy family, a nice house, a good job (with a surprise promotion just yesterday!), and I’m the healthiest physically I’ve been probably since high school. So I don’t exactly look back on my 30s with a lot of regrets.

All that being said, there is something about the big 4-0, and I have found myself dwelling on it a lot more than I thought I would as it approached. Not specifically the birthday itself, but just getting older in general. It seems like in the past 6 months or so, I have felt a million new aches and pains. Maybe just because it has been on my mind, I don’t know.

But it really does feel like, for the first time, I’m starting to feel “old”.

For whatever reason, when I think of “parents” or “the previous generation” I always imagine the people who would sit in the stands at like middle and high school sporting events. I don’t know why, but in any case, I can’t help but acknowledge that that’s me now, you know? (Side note: we had kids relatively young, and thank god! Parenting is so exhausting, that I seriously cannot imagine doing it any older. How could I accomplish this with any less energy?!)

I suppose the cliche is to say I feel younger than I am, and that is both true and not true. I just went over all the reasons it’s not true, but I think it’s also fair to say that I still spend time making memes and reading comic books and playing dungeons and dragons and I fall asleep nearly every night thinking about programing robots to fight other robots, which….I don’t know exactly what a 40 year old is supposed to be doing, but I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it was that stuff.

Even with all that, there is something about the number 40, though. Yesterday, if I were talking to someone who was, let’s say 24, I would have (optimistically) thought, “Well, they’re in their 20s and I’m in my 30s, so we’re not SO different in age!” But suddenly today I have to instead think, “They’re in their 20s and I’m in my 40s. That’s a 20 year difference!”

That is a lot of aging to experience all at once.

So, you know, here I am. Middle aged. Bald, with a kid in middle school, but also probably living a better life than I had imagined I would. Struggling sometimes with parenting, but also super fulfilled by my career and hobbies, and learning new things every day. Wishing I had more time, but also happy with the way I spend my time and money.

Now just wait until I hit 50…


My 30s: One Last Time

I should probably save some of this angst for next year’s birthday post, but as I enter the last year of my 30s I do find myself reflecting on the impending big 4-0.

I have never been one to put much stock in the “milestone” birthdays, but as I am turning 39 it occurs to me that maybe that’s only because I haven’t really hit any big ones yet! 30 didn’t seem like a big deal because I *felt* like a 30 year old. I owned a house and had a second kid on the way. But I don’t know that I’m ready to be a 40 year old, and I’m suspecting to feel the same about every milestone birthday from now on.

BUT, I am going to see Hamilton (again) tonight (for the 3rd time), so it seems appropriate to say to my 30s:

One last time
Let’s take a break tonight
And then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye
to say goodbye
You and I

One last time, 30s. Let’s make this a good year, shall we?

To my mother-in-law, on her birthday

Today isn’t my mother-in-law’s birthday, but here’s the poem I wrote for her when it was:

Some birthdays are bigger than others, and this is one such year.
When these milestones arrive, you should enjoy them with extra cheer.

Forget the rules, eat what you want, take cake and eat a bunch.
Don’t listen to your idiot friends, try not to drink too much.

Embrace your birthday, live it up, and all the days between,
because it is your special day, now that you’re sixteen.

What’s that? What did you say? You’re sixty not sixteen?
Wow, you’re like…waaaay older than you seem.

You’d better sit down, this advice might be a little harder to hear,
and anyway, at your age, your legs might give out I fear.

DO I NEED TO SPEAK LOUDER? Is your hearing okay?
I want to make sure you can understand what I’m about to say.

That advice I gave was terrible, please listen to your friends.
They might not have that long to live before they meet their ends.

Maybe put some cake back, how much do you really need?
I think prunes and fiber are more your body’s speed.

I hope that this is good advice, I hope you find it useful.
When I say don’t drink too much, I’m talking Metamucil.

It’s not all bad news though, being elderly,
because of all the wisdom gained in your long history.

Us younger folk depend on your advice to get us through,
and value all the different things that we’ve been taught by you.

You help us live a better life by sharing hardships, joys, and fears
accumulated through your many, many, MANY years.

Birthday Season

In the past week we’ve celebrated a 60th birthday, an 88th birthday, a 39th anniversary, and of course Sara and my 8th anniversary. We also have Evie’s birthday coming up in less than a month, and then Sara’s right after. Busy times!

We didn’t exactly do much for Tom’s birthday, but I have to say it was quite enjoyable nonetheless. Basically we just had a big meal with everybody, but it was so delicious and it was actually a lot of fun. We all pitched in to make it and then sat down to a big feast (steaks, grilled romaine salads and a grilled squash medley, followed by homemade ice cream). There’s not much I like more than just sitting and visiting (for example, while the ice cream maker is running), so I guess it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

And then the next day we found out that 60’s not too old for a little wheel chair racing:

It seems like we’ve been planning Grandma Lois’ 88th birthday party for forever. Sara said afterwards that it wasn’t really that much work, but I think she is forgetting because it was spread out over a long time. However, it was all worth it, because it turned out really well. There were lots and lots of people there, plenty of food, and no issues to speak of, major or minor. We were running around like crazy the day of, but it was all worth it because I think Grandma was really happy.

The day of the party was super hot (as was every day this summer), but Sara only had pants to wear. So she improvised by borrowing some clothes from her sister. She needed a belt to match, so she further improvised by using one of her dad’s ties as a belt. Seriously you guys, she looked like a super model! It was amazing. And hilarious, because you don’t usually see super models at your grandma’s 88th birthday party. So if you thought we hired a “booth babe” to serve the ice cream, nope, that was just Sara.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of her, so I guess I’ll just put some other picture instead.

The big 3-0

Today is the big day. I’m turning 30.

To be quite honest, it doesn’t really bother me. I kept waiting to have this big, “Holy crap, I’m old!” moment, but it never really happened. Maybe it’s because I’m doing pretty well with myself. I would probably feel worse if I felt like there were things I should have done before I turned 30; like my life was lagging behind my expectations. If anything, it’s exactly the opposite: I am married with a beautiful daughter and another kid on the way, I have a job that I like, a Master’s degree, I own my home (by which I mean I owe a whole lot of money to the bank, but hey, they don’t call those payments rent!), and I have some dough in both my savings and retirement accounts. What more could a 30-year-old ask for?

I’m not saying there’s nothing that could be improved in my life. I need to lose some weight (but isn’t that supposed to be what I say when I turn 30 anyway?), my hair is hiding who-knows-where, the house could be cleaner, etc., etc. But all in all, when I look around at my life, I think I’ve got a pretty good thing going.

Is this normal? Will it hit me at some point? Am I missing a good excuse to make a big deal and get a lot of attention? Do I need to turn the histrionics up a bit? (I mean aside from posting this early in the morning so I can get compliments all day, instead of posting it at the usual time) Anybody have any good getting old stories / discussion? Feel free to post in the comments.