Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

Okay, this particular blog entry has nothing to do with my usual type of topics...unless you consider birthdays to be horrifying!


Birthdays are, generally, something most folks hate when they get past the age of 25. Today, I turn a ripe age of 40. I've never had the issue with 40 that some people seem to have, and now that I've actually hit this age, I gotta say...what's the big deal? Sure, I'm not as fit and lean as I once was, and my hair is pretty well gone, but why is there such a stigma regarding the fourth decade of life? Is it because folks used to only live until 45 or so? Yeah, that was in the days of the old west, and medical science has vastly improved since then! I certainly feel like I am much wiser than I once was, and I look back on my youth with a sense of dismay more often than not. "What was I thinking" is the dominant thought on my mind when I look to those bygone days.

Still, I also feel like I have a much better perspective about who I was then than I even did at the time. Dumb decisions from my childhood and early adulthood are most often laughable to me, when at one point they were so serious. I also love the financial security that I have now, as opposed to those days when I was living off of Top Ramen and Patio microwave burritos. Sure, there is much to be said for youth, but stupidity seems to go along with it, so is it really so great? Maybe you look better, and feel physically stronger, but the downside is that you don't have the experience to deal with so many things that come your way.

Personally, I don't even view forty as "middle age", as I plan on living well past 100 (well, assuming I don't get hit by a bus, or the world doesn't end in 2012)! I don't view myself as "young" per se, but I'm not exactly ready for the nursing home either. So...how many of my readers are near, or past, forty? Do you truly feel that this age is a bad one, or does the good outweigh the bad? For those of you in your twenties, do you feel anyone over 40 is just "old" and completely out of touch, or do you view them as having valuable information and experience to share?

7 comments:

Johnny Thunder said...

Happy birthday, my friend!

I also just turned the "big" 4-0 on January 4th, so I am also struggling with the same thoughts, fears, hopes and reflection as you.

So far, bro - it's been pretty cool. :0)

Here's to 100 more!!!

Happy bday!

Guillaume said...

Happy birthday! I am in my 30s now, I felt very old when I turned 30. Not so much anymore, but I think it is because people act young longer nowadays: we keep the same activities and mentality we had in our 20s. I do have to say I am already dreading turning 40.

The Gill-Man said...

Thanks for your thoughts, and birthday wishes, guys!

JT: Yeah, it's actually alright...and I'm down for reaching 140!

Guillaume: Don't dread it...embrace it! Just think about how much wisdom and experience you have now! That's what I keep focusing on, and it's actually making me rather content with where I am!

The October boy said...

I passed that milestone 8 years ago and never looked back. Happy birthday to you and many more Gill-man.
Yes, you do gain experience and perspective as well. You may also find out that the older you get- the more time you have for creating. Glad you are embracing it!

The Gill-Man said...

I'd be totally down with the "more time for creating" thing! Thanks, October Boy!

The Frog Queen said...

I too pass that milestone a while back and I have to say I agree with you. I don't take myself as seriously as I used to. I have more patience for myself and those around me....some days things just seem clearer.

Some days not so much.

Greatful for what was and looking forward to the future.

Happy Birthday - many returns!

Cheers!

The Gill-Man said...

Thanks Frog Queen! I agree, I've certainly gotten more patient as I've matured, certainly more so with others. I appreciate you sharing your reflections on this!