Monday, January 20, 2014
But yesterday marked forty-five orbits around the sun. I've always assumed, given family history and cultural trends, that I'll make it to around ninety. That could be cut short by illness or an errant meteor, or it could be extended by some random happenstance or cybernetic augmentation.
Still and all, the probability seems most strong that I'm right smack in the middle of my existence. That can be a source of anxiety for many. "I haven't done what I need to do!" "It's all downhill from here!" "I want to be young! I want to be young again!"
In this place of midlife, we can become desperate. We can scrabble for pieces of our former selves, clawing our way out of relationships that we falsely blame for our ennui. We can try to consume our way out of aging, buying cars and shoes and boats and toys. We can surgically alter ourselves, planting fields of hair plugs on our balding pates, or stretching and pulling our faces into a strained mask of youth.
If we are content where we are, and with who we are, those anxieties don't claw at us. It's hard to resist, as our culture pours fears of our own inadequacy into us. But so far, at least, I am mostly content with my rumpled, quiet little hobbit-life.
Am I midlifing? Perhaps just a little bit. I have found myself hankering for little red italian sportscars lately. But that I'm still puttering around on a motorcycle that can run with vehicles costing more than my house diminishes that desire a little bit.
There's no reason to grasp for a sense of the self you have lost, if you've not forgotten that self in the first place.
I'm writing more, and reading more, and attending to to what I eat. I'm fit-ish, enough that I feel good, but not so much that I'm futilely trying to stave off the advance of my mortality. I am not twenty five any more. That, I do not fear. There is no point in fearing it.
And so, unafraid, I'm living slowly. In that willful slowness, I think I'm fine being forty five.