So today is the big 4-0.
I don't feel older. Okay, sure, my stomach has been giving me some strange problems for the past several days. Not sure if it's a stomach virus or something more indicative of my age. And yes, I don't have as much hair as I used to (though it was goofy looking, sometimes I miss that big hair and mullet I had in my 20's). And, okay, my body creaks a little when I move a certain way and I'm not nearly as flexible as I used to be. And while I've a bald spot and receding hairline up top, other hair has sprung up in strange places that hair doesn't belong -- old man fashion.
But in many ways, I don't feel a day older than 17.
I recall my father's 40th birthday and sitting around with the family celebrating it. It seemed like such a landmark and it seemed so darn far away. My father seemed mature, responsible, the fully confident head of our household and, okay, I'll be honest -- OLD. Looking at him that day, I remember thinking how far away the age of 21 seemed to me, nevermind 40. And, lo and behold, 40 snuck up on me and here it is. And yet while I know I must be responsible and if not mature, then at least capable of acting mature when the situation calls for it, I still don't feel "old."
I suppose that's a good thing.
I was going to start listing a bunch of landmark things that I'd hoped to accomplish by this age, but I never really established a list of things I'd wanted to accomplish by the time I was 40.
One thing I've always wanted to do was write. And I've at least had some moderate success in that area. It's nice to know that I've stuck with something for so long that I've been truly passionate about for most of my life -- that feels really good.
From the time I was a young teenager, I remember sitting in the basement on a hot summer day while outside the window a group of friends were running around, laughing and splashing in the pool -- and there I was, sitting at my mom's old Underwood typewriter and pounding out a terrible novel inspired by some Dungeons & Dragons adventures I'd had. There was fun and games to be had outside, but there was a story and characters tearing around inside my head that were begging to be released onto the page. That hasn't changed -- characters, situations and ideas continue to plague me. What also plagues me is being able to find the time to get them all down onto a page. (Although it's a virtual page these days rather than a physical one)
Back back to physical pages, and typewriters, I remember trying desperately to find a photocopier (those were rare back then) so I could copy a story I had typed up and send it to a publisher for publication consideration. (Because otherwise I'd have to re-type it every time I wanted to send that story out) -- technology has certainly made that process easier.
Of course, technology has also taken many things away from my writing time. Rather than sitting in the basement pounding out a story or novel, I spend time goofing around online, a minute here, a minute there -- the next thing you know, an hour has passed and I haven't gotten any real writing done.
Like now, for instance. Here I sit, having gotten up early with the intent to write, but instead I've farted around on Facebook, checked my email, then babbled on a meaningless blog post.
Time I could have spent writing.
Gee, I wonder if, along with my hair, I've also lost that sense of discipline that allowed me to stick to a writing project?