Thursday, April 27th, 2006 • 2 Comments on Getting Older, Not Getting Old
I will be 39 in just over a week. I will be 40 in a year. I have no particular fear of aging, no dread of the big Four-Oh. In fact, I’m looking forward to my forties and fifties, though I’m less sure of how I feel about my sixties and seventies. I will celebrate turning 40, despite the inevitable teasing I’ll receive and all the “over the hill” jokes I’ll be forced to endure. Forty is the new thirty, or something like that. No big worries. I may indulge myself with a few shots of Botox, but that will be the extent of my battle to stave off the aging process. Hardly a battle at all, really. More of a mild skirmish.
Still, as one gets older and starts realizing that time is indeed finite, one starts contemplating all that one has not accomplished that one hoped to/dreamed to/planned to accomplish in life. That one, of course, is me. I’ve long since giving up on planning my life as my plans have so often gone awry (and often in the best, most exciting ways possible) and, as a Beatle once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” True, and yet… making plans is exactly the panicky instinct that overcomes me when I look at the calendar and realize I have one more year left of my 30s. I want a one-year plan! I want a five-year plan! I want a mission statement!
Okay, a mission statement might be carrying things a bit too far. Still, this urge to plan, to set goals, to make lists with numbers and headings, is overpowering. There is so much to do. So much to experience. So much life to live. Turning 39 doesn’t make me feel old, it makes me feel like a teenager, anxious to experience everything I can, while I can.