All my life, there has been a stigma attached to April 24. It’s been a day I’ve looked forward to; a day that was surrounded by celebration, amusement and merrymaking. There have also been a fair number of these days that were marred by loneliness, sadness at the passing of time and some searching for a direction. Most of that was after graduation from High School and into my first couple of years of University. I’m glad to say that today is about the happiness and that I’ve found direction, purpose and a wonderful woman to share the passing of time.
Yesterday, at my birthday party, several people asked me what it was like, this inexorable march toward middle-age. Having given it some thought, I told them that it took me by surprise a little. I was expecting to take it like any other birthday, just a number going up, not a big deal. Then it hit me. I actually started to feel old. Not old, creaky and breaking down (although Saturday’s hockey game hit me like a tonne of bricks) but just like I’m not youthful any longer. Sure, older people will say, “wait ‘til you’re my age before you complain about being old.” Problem with that is, I’ll never be your age. You’re older than me now, you’ll be older than me in twenty, forty, seventy years, assuming we’ve managed to cheat Ol’ Man Death that long. I don’t know what sort of social stigmas are placed on 30. I know it’s meant to be a transformation from liberty, rebellion and fast times to responsibility, attachment to home and family but anyone who knows me knows that my life has never really been about rebellion, I’ve never felt any lack of liberty, and, quite frankly, my ass is far too large to accommodate any sort of fast living. (Maybe fast-food living, but that’s another matter entirely).
As I head into the fourth decade of my life, there are certain things I can look back on with a chuckle, where there was only dread embarrassment, heart-rending sorrow or some sort of boundless rage not seen since Ben Stiller in Mystery Men. It’s nice to have some insulation from those raw emotions and that pain. Sure, I still have scars from what I endured, but I would be as arrogantly egocentric as I was at 19 if I thought that anyone who’s made it to 30 has done so without his or her share of scars.
Some thoughts at 30:
First love is wonderful and it really, really sucks.
Getting out of bed after a day of sports may just be the hardest thing in the world.
My wife and two kids are the best thing to ever happen to me.
A life without distractions doesn’t seem like much of a life at all.
Neither does a life without focus.
Doing something you love doesn’t make it easier, it just makes it easier to try harder.
The saying: “Nothing worth doing is ever easy” serves as a good mantra when you’re doing something hard, but it’s basically bullshit.
It’s better to do the right thing that’s hard to do than to put it off by doing the easy thing. That always bites me in the ass.
Swearing is cool.
Next up: Sprint to the mini-goal finish-line.