Something strange happened to me when I turned 40. I’ve always been comfortable with the idea of aging, proudly displaying my gray hairs and embracing my laugh lines. This past December I turned 40, though, and a shift I couldn’t have anticipated happened.
I got old.
Or to put it in a less dramatic way, I grew up. I’ve lived life with a Peter Pan syndrome: I let getting old come on when it wanted to and understood it was a privilege denied to many to move to the next steps of life. Even so, getting older didn’t necessarily mean I had to grow up.
So I didn’t. I just stayed immature with a healthy dash of “Que sera, sera.” I believed that if I took care of the now, the then would fall into place. The logic was sound. Future was not present and that was good enough for me.
Then came that shift, causing the floor beneath of me to shake just enough to have a different perspective.
I had a rough December, emotionally. By the time my birthday and Christmas came along, I was done with the whole “holiday thing” and wanted desperately to get back to normal daily life. The problem was, I found myself at a crossroads. It occurred to me that, while it took forever to go from 20 to 40, 40 to 60 was going to happen in a blink. I’ve done so much with my adult life this far, and I feel fulfilled by the way I chose to ride the waves.
The ride, however, still has far to go, and I could continue on the path just taking it day by day, dealing with whatever was tossed up as it came, or I could take a more proactive approach and choose a more deliberate life that would help smooth down any rough waters ahead.
I made the choice to grow up.
To be continued…