39 Years: The State of Things

Tomorrow I will be 39. I’m not sure how this happened. I still feel like a kid, despite all evidence to the contrary.

In medieval times, I would be a village elder. 39 was ancient.  39 deserved reverence. 39 bespoke hard-won wisdom. Back then, it was probably worth listening to the words of a guy who hadn’t gotten eaten by a bear, fallen from a tree or been bashed in the head during battle. At least, that is my scholarly opinion of the matter after reading 4 books into the Game of Thrones.

Age is a funny thing. Age perception is funnier. In my head, I think of myself as being 23. That was 16 years ago. I remember being 16. It felt like it took me a long time to become 16. The 16 years from 23 to 39 happened quickly.

I like my life. I have a strong, happy marriage to the girl I first met when I was 15 years old. We’ve been through a lot together. We still laugh.

I’m a dad. This suites me very well. My daughter is kind, creative, funny and smart. At five years old, she already challenges me. She will help me a keep a keen, crisp edge.

I have a job I enjoy very much, doing work that matters to people. I feel passionate about what I do and am grateful to work in a place where people take me seriously and let me have ideas and let me try those ideas. Sometimes those ideas work  out. Sometimes they don’t.

I still walk around with the feeling that something really amazing is about to happen. I’ve had this feeling since I was 15. It still carries me forward today.

I don’t carry many specific memories around with me. I have memories but when pushed to recall a specific thing that happened, I usually get fuzzy on details. This actually bothers me quite a bit at times. I can’t picture a specific childhood home or recall details of a favorite family vacation or call to mind details of a really great conversation I had with my best friends. These things are all in my head. I glimpse them from time to time, but I generally cannot call them to mind. Memories come to me. I cannot go to them.

I’m not sure what this weakness of memory means, and I don’t really intend to dwell on it here. I just want to say that some people’s lives are enriched by their past. Others have found the habit of mindful presence in the present moment. I am future-oriented, for good and for bad.

I am 39 years old and, still, I believe that something incredible is about to happen. I believe it because it is true. Everyday there is some astounding, astonishing new thing. Sometimes it is a small thing. Sometimes it is a big thing. If I am ready, it is there for me everyday.

This is how I have lived for 39 years, swinging from vine to vine. I am grateful for the days, months and years behind me. I am grateful for today and this moment. I am grateful for tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next.

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