Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts as My 40th Year Comes to a Close

I have learned a lot during my 40th year. Some things are good, some ... I wouldn’t say are bad … but let’s just say are not so good. Physically, it does take getting used to accepting the aging process. Albeit someone in their 50’s or 60’s may laugh at my minor aging issues, but they are still significant to myself. You take mental pause when someone first tells you, “Oh my gosh, you are turning gray!” You start to notice with a deep sigh that you need to adjust the paper in front of you in order to read the fine print. And you definitely don’t bounce back like you used to after a night of drinking and dancing.

I worry about life going by too fast. I am fearful I won't do everything that I have always wanted to do. As friends and family members pass away, I realize how precious our time here is. You realized that in the blink of an eye, it can all be taken away from us. I never dreamt my mother would die so young. I feel I am blessed to have her with me as long as I did but I feel for her loss, for in just two years since her death, so much as changed to my brother's, sister's, and my own life. The hard part is that she will never know about it.

I have learned that it is sometimes lonely getting older. There are not as many people to call or go out with at a moment’s notice on a Friday night. Yes, Facebook and other social media have helped change that “out of touch” feeling, but as you get older, so does your core group of friends. A lot of them have families of their own and some work longer and harder hours than you do. You just don’t get together as often. We seem to get wrapped up in our own smaller worlds.

Also, when I was in my 20’s, I thought nothing of taking the train up to New York City for a quick weekend getaway at the last minute. Now, I have to plan, budget, and calculate. Who is going to feed the cats? Can I put off mowing the lawn? Should I pay mortgage and electric or go to NYC instead? UGH! I sometimes joke that I hate being a grown-up! All these decisions and all these bills!

I still find it hard to believe I am 40. I never thought I would get to this age. I remember my mother turning 40 and her joking to her friends that she was turning 29 again. Like my mother, I often use this joke and receive the same groans from my friends that my mother's friends gave her. I will tell you that my mind feels 29, or even younger. It is only the body that gives away its age. I do enjoy the confidence and wisdom one develops as they get older. I don’t get nervous walking into a crowd at a friend’s party. I plunge in, looking for people I know, the bar, or the food table and go from there! Maybe I hit the bar first. OK, I definintely hit the bar first, then food, then people I know but I am definitely not intimidated like I used to! 

One of the best parts of getting older is that you care less about what people think and more about what is important to you. You succumb less and less to peer pressure. You basically do what you want and if people don't like it, as they say ... screw 'em! As long as I look and smell clean and decent, for most nights that’s all that matters. I have been to art gallery openings where I walk out with half the hors d'oeuvres shmeared down the front of my shirt, but hey, I had a blast! I figure most people won’t even remember if I wore a blue shirt or a red shirt anyway.

The same goes with dancing at the clubs. I used to know all these great dance moves and keep up with who with the hottest pop stars. Side bar ... my sister and I used to have a "dance routine!" Another blog for another time! Now, with regards to how I dance in a club, I could care less. I just wanna go out and have FUN! And besides, these days I am lucky if I can last three songs on the dance floor before my legs start to buckle. Oh that burning in my quads kills me! You all know what I am talking about. If I am not getting winded, my knees and legs are going to give out!

I guess we do get more selfish as we get older, but in a good way. We worry about our own happiness and how we feel about ourselves, and less about how others feel about us. That kind of selfishness is good. I am learning how to deal with this aging thing. Overall, I am calmer about it than I was a year ago. Maybe it’s also just about acceptance. I can’t change it, but I can recognize it, accept it, and possibly enjoy it.

I still do go through my “frazzled at forty” moments though.  I was at my brother's in San Diego last June for my sister-in-law Teresa's and my 40th birthday party. I was talking with my niece Angelica when she was with her friends and one of them asked as I walked away, "Who was THAT?"  She replied, "Oh that's just Uncle Marc."  UGH! I was crushed! (I know she didn't mean it like that but oh it stung!) I also had a mini freak-out when a young coworker told me she was turning 24 and said nonchalantly, that I could be her father. She softened the blow by telling me I was one of the coolest 40 year olds that she knows. OK, not so bad ... I will definitely take that!

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