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Reeling in the years

Since it’s on the horizon and coming up fast, it’s on my mind — 40.  Yep, I’m turning 40 this year.  How the hell did that happen?

I’m not sad or scared just bemused.  I always joke that I’ll live to be in my nineties, but I can’t even imagine that.  Aging happens and you can hate every minute of it or you can enjoy the ride (It’ll probably end of being a little bit of both).  I have no idea who said it but it’s a good one — Never get upset about growing old, some people never get the chance.

The day I graduated from college (1995)

I feel the intervening years have been generally kind.

But after 40 is when it really gets interesting.  The follies of youth catch up to you.  You can’t drink as much and sleep off that hangover.  You can’t eat whatever you want and not think twice.  There’s no more, I’ll exercise today if I feel like it.  Your body now demands that you consider it and it will not be ignored.

They say the only constant in the universe is change.  On average, every cell in your body is replaced in seven years.  That means I am literally not the same person who graduated from college all those years ago.  It’s only through the persistence of memory (which is nothing but an illusion) that has me believe that I am still the same.

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Sometimes I wish I could shed my skin periodically like a snake.  Slough off the dead and the unneeded portions of my life and emerge fresh and new.  I’ve been trying to do that with my possessions but I’ve been confronted by my own clinging nature.  Is that something learned or is it a natural response?  I wonder.

I find myself doing a lot of that lately – wondering.  It’s easy to look back and fit all of the pieces together into a cohesive picture.  From this side, it’s all a jumbled mess.

But that’s all part of it too, I guess.  So all there is to do is enjoy the ride.  And don’t forget to breathe.





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