#roadto40

– originally published on September 15, 2017 – on Medium.com

What age do you think most effectively represents the term ‘middle-aged’? I would have to say…40! As I get closer to this age (I still have about 2 and a half years to go), I’m really starting to consider the fact that I’m closing in on the completion of the first half of my life. While that may sound heavy…maybe daunting, I hold a very optimistic perspective surrounding this time. And I remain so grateful for what I’ve found in the first 40 (37 to be precise).

However, as I’ve heard many people say things like ‘age is just a number’ and ‘you’re only as old as you feel’, I actually prefer taking a very realistic approach to reflection of the years, and acknowledge that 40 is huge…monumental! We can’t deny the fact that 40 remains a touchstone in time, and that it forces us to check our barometer to gauge what we’ve done with the first half of our life…and how we’ve set ourselves up for the 2nd.

So where does that leave me? Well…so many thoughts. I have been told so much that ‘life is short’. I can identify with that in a sense. On the other hand, it seems like I’ve already lived a lifetime up to this moment…and it feels great knowing I have another waiting for me. I’m not ignorant to the fact that tragedy or poor health can strike at any moment, but I only let that drive me to saturate my moments more so…and then soak them up with love, appreciation, gratitude, and reflection.

…it seems like I’ve already lived a lifetime up to this moment…and it feels great knowing I have another waiting for me.

I feel so fortunate for what I’ve done and seen thus far, yet, there are more items on my list. There are things I haven’t done…probably due to fear or prioritization or laziness…and I will not stand at 40 and regret those things. I don’t want to be saying, ‘I wish I tried…I didn’t think I could…I probably should’…you fill in the rest. Some of those items are public and may be shared, while others will remain more intrinsic, simply being worked out in my own mind. Whatever they may be, I’m using this moment to declare my dedication to starting on them. I can’t really judge my success on whether some are completed…but feel good about at least ‘trying’ or ‘starting’. Don’t get my wrong…I know the power of closing (and actually wrote this piece on it), but that’s not what I’m going for here. I’m more looking to try things that have been on my mind, and that I hope to still be enjoying even far into the second half of my life.

One area that I need to improve on is my documentation…or my record keeping of experiences. I wish I had pictures of certain times in my past…and I wish I started writing earlier. Well technology has certainly helped with this, and will allow me to effectively track my #roadto40. I’m going to be looking for a lot of feedback along the way, and will be reaching out to others during this project…in hopes to gain some insight. I also urge you to ‘try’ as much as possible and document your process somewhere. Please send me your thoughts and ideas along the way.

Thank you for reading!

FinalSignature

37

originally published on February 24, 2017.

 

‘With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come’ -Shakespeare

Today is my birthday.  I am 37 years old.  Let me repeat so that it I can let it sink in some more…Today, I am 37 years old.

I’m writing today, simply because I feel the urge to.  I have been feeling this for a while now. It has led me to write some songs, put notes down in journals, and to create many ‘ideas’ in my head.  These ideas are simple thoughts and concepts…every day occurrences that linger longer than I would expect.  Maybe they are experiences that I initially feel are unique.  But over time I realize they are somewhat arbitrary, probably common, but intriguing to me nonetheless.  They seem to be connective in nature, and hopefully beneficial for myself and others to reflect on. 

You see, as the numbers in the label of my age get higher in value (and as my mom always say’s, I still feel very young) something has crept in.  It’s a subtle and slow effect happening, a compounding of occurrences, a collection of pictures or songs in my head, a thread of themes being woven, and a group of people in the mass that I’ve been lucky to meet.

Every so often, a moment arises when I think, oh…that’s why that person came into my life…and that’s why I read that book then…and that song is attached to that memory…that is why I had to struggle and find hardship there…and that person was beautiful, but couldn’t remain in my life…and I’m grateful for that…and around that time, I found those amazing coconut macaroons at that hip coffee shop with all those great smells!

Breathe.

Reflecting on all of this, I’m so proud to have this awareness and acceptance.  And I’ve found it through others.  Every person I’ve met…I can think back to something they’ve said, or a look they gave, or even a harsh reality they presented that I didn’t appreciate at the time. Today, I’m saying thank you for all of that.

More recently, I’ve been reading a lot.  Everyone should do this.  It’s strengthened the webs that were formed in my life – into cables that can’t be broke (referring to the old Spanish proverb that applies to habits).  I appreciate all of the writers, and then all of the musicians, artists, and other ‘creators’ for the bravery of putting it out there…for letting it go…letting it be ‘ours’…and for sharing what was once only yours.

At this moment, I am not entirely sure why I’m sharing this small piece of writing.  In a way, it feels a bit presumptuous.  And who am I to share what was once only a tide of mine?  This is where I respect that bravery of what others have done.

On the other hand, today is my birthday, an anniversary of the day I was born…the day my collection began, and the day the first webs began to spool in and out.  

I am so entirely sure of why I’m sharing this!

Everything and everyone in my life up to this moment has led me to this.  It’s not on me…it’s on you!

So thank you.  

Make sure to be aware of your ‘threads’…your webs…your coconut macaroons.  

I’ve found it to be…tasty.

james