Today I am 41 years old. It is not a milestone, it’s not a way-point or rest stop on the way to wisdom that we assume comes with age. It’s merely another year, one of which I swore to stop acknowledging several back. Unfortunately, there are those that say they love me, yet remind me of my advancing mortality with annual gifts and cake. I don’t obsess about death or dying, but the years seem to pass with increasing rapidity. Can’t we slow this damn bus down? I want to smell some frickin roses!
The hardest part of it all is that I still feel like I did when I was 18…well, as much as I can remember of it anyway. I think memory loss, or memory “clouding” as I prefer to call it is the aging male’s natural defense against the stupid shit he may have done before the moisture behind his auditory appendages completely dried. We remember only the high points; deeds, actions, and relationships that we deem successful are in focus. The rest is a jumbled blur like a 6 beer night on a 3 beer metabolism.
I alternately take life and its components too seriously and not seriously enough. In the same day I can obsess about the future consequences of painting a wall a certain color, completely ignore the warning labels on hazardous chemicals, and instantly forget every single thing my wife asks me to do. Like a child, the only things that are important are the things that are important to me at the moment. It’s not that I am selfish or insensitive, unaware and uncaring; I just tend to focus on one task 100%, even if it isn’t the most essential.
I like to joke and tease and dance and be silly…and dance. The music doesn’t have to be on the radio, it can be a jingle from a television commercial. I often see my wife mouth the words “Why me Lord?” while looking skyward as I bump hips with her to the theme song of Spongebob Squarepants. It’s not that she doesn’t like my antics…well, maybe she doesn’t, but she was probably trying to accomplish something productive (thankfully it didn’t involve a sharp knife). Speaking of Spongebob, I believe that there are valuable life lessons to be found in every episode.
I have a voracious appetite for reading and learning. I think that I am capable of doing and/or teaching myself nearly anything…in theory, if not always in practice. I have expected big things from myself, but have often been thwarted by poor decisions. There is no limit to what a person can do if they are truly determined. I am often very determined…to the point of stubbornness. It may surprise you to know that this has caused difficulty, occasionally, in my business and personal relationships. It also surprises me, until I put myself in the other party’s shoes and evaluate my words or actions. It chagrins me to admit that I have an uncanny ability to be a supreme asshole, but I also make a significant effort to repress it…not always successfully.
I think that we should periodically take stock of our lives and peer into the bowl of noodles that comprises our personality. I am not perfect…not even close, and I’m not sorry for that. I can be shallow, selfish, condescending, annoying, and downright aggravating at times. At the end of the day I am continually striving to improve myself and have a positive impact on the lives of my friends and family. I genuinely care about my family, my community, my country, and this galactic rock that we all occupy.
At 41 years of age I have realized that I have more in common, personality-wise, with my 5 year old daughter than with my most of my peers and co-workers. That doesn’t necessarily suck. Stop taking yourself so seriously and go watch some Spongebob, dance at every opportunity, and touch your significant other’s butt frequently.
Idaho doesn’t suck…and neither does a little self reflection. I should be good for another 41 years or so.