I recently turned 40. Up until this birthday I didn’t think all that much about what each birthday milestone meant. Sure I had more rights and responsibilities at 18 but I was more concerned with smooching than with the off chance I might get called to war. This one, however, has got me thinking, reflecting, really, on what has been and what may be to come.
My parents visited this past weekend. They brought, quite literally, hundreds of photos. I had asked my dad to bust them out for a project I had hoped to work on. We have plans to get together as a somewhat extended family this fall. Since I have a sister in the west coast and there are five of us siblings, we don’t all hang in the same place all that often. So our plans to get together are significant.
My idea was to put together a slide show for the gang. It would include photos from the past 45 years or so. My parents were married in 1965 so I thought that might be a good place to start. A lot of photographs can accumulate in 45 years, however. So it took a few hours just to sort though the boxes of prints. And we didn’t even get to the slides. There are a lot more slides than prints.
So the big marker birthday, accompanied by all the photo browsing, has made this Gen X-er think about things a bit. I know this is the time, traditionally, to enter the mid-life crisis phase, but I have been working to avoid that for a while. Life is good. I could ask for little more (although, let’s face it, I do). Mostly I have just been thinking about my life. Why not? It seems a good enough time to do that.
On an afternoon run today I thought more than I would have liked. I like to get out there and drain away all those pesky thoughts. I guess I haven’t been getting out there enough. I need to start getting up early and tying on the old shoes. I’d like to get another ultramarathon in before I need a hip replacement. Or new teeth. Running with dentures might be a nuisance.
Jupiter rises and the children are asleep. The dishes are washed and, while the laundry awaits folding, I am enjoying the quiet of my home while my wife is out with friends. I just stashed a bucket of tomato soup, freshly made, in the freezer. The rolls I made for dinner are wrapped for lunch tomorrow. Like I said, life is good. Here’s to forty more good ones.