It is hard to imagine that I am approaching fifty. Not because it doesn’t feel like I have lived forty-eight years’ worth of life. I have, every year is etched into my memory, and I can clearly recall huge tracts of days gone by.
What makes it hard to imagine, is that aside from a few emotional scars, I don’t feel any different mentally or emotionally than I did twenty years ago. I still have many of the same dreams and ambitions I did twenty years go. I still hope to find that one true love, as I did twenty years ago.
I can still sprint across a parking lot, jump on the back of the shopping cart, and ride it until it stops. In fact, I can steer that shopping cart using my feet as breaks on the back wheels. In other words, I am just as playful as I was twenty years ago.
Twenty years ago, well, twenty one years ago, I woke up in a hotel room in Indiana with a mild hangover. Actually, it was a doozy of a hangover. It was the night after my one of my best friend’s wedding. I thought I found the girl of my dreams the night before. But that relationship lasted no longer than my hangover.
I thought that morning, the dawn of my twenty seventh birthday was the beginning of the end. My life was on a downslide from there on out. Like my forties, now, my twenties were on their way out.
The thirties loomed near.
I wish I could have my thirties back. Only because I didn’t feel nearly as good in my thirties as I do in my forties.
A talk show host I used to listen to when driving truck around the Twin Cities summed up where I am going with this pretty well.
“If someone who is in their forties or fifties tells you they feel better today than they have ever felt in their lives, they are crazy.”
I am in far better shape than I was in my thirties, but I have nowhere near the energy, vitality, and stamina that twenty seven year old me had. That me, was in the best shape of my life.
I am stronger than that me, but her could run further. I am wiser than that me, but when he fell, he sprang right back up off the ground.
And that one thing reminds me every day that I am approaching fifty.