43

Photo on 4-21-15 at 11.28 PM

I turn 43 in 46 minutes.

It’s not a monumental birthday; one of those moments when you traditionally say, “Dang, how did this happen?” But, well, dang. How did this happen?

I’m 43. Halfway to 86—an age statistics suggest I’ll fail to reach. I tend to think of “midlife” meaning 50, but that’s a longshot. “Midlife” is now.

I used to struggle with aging because I struggled with death. An eternity of nothingness, blah, blah. Through the years, however, I’ve become increasingly comfortable with my mortality. There’s even a part of me—and this is admittedly hard to explain—that looks forward to the final moment of life. I’m intrigued by it. The feeling. The departure. I’m in no rush. But I’m riveted.

Really, what I wish I could do is slow time down. I want it to crawl, not sprint. I used to think I had this one figured out. Spend as much time as possible with your kids, they don’t grow up in a blink. Stay up as late as possible, the days feel longer. Take moments to stop and gaze out at the ocean, smell the air, rub your hand through your son’s mop of brown hair. If I did those things, I figured it’d all take longer to complete.

But I was wrong. I wake up—snap—I go to bed. Over and over and over again. One day turns into a week. A week turns into six months. Six months turn into 10 years. It’s a boulder rolling down a steep hill, and I can’t stop it. My daughter was born. Then she was 6. Now she’s about to be 12. How?

I have some gray hairs along my sideburns. My back always aches. I’ve never felt my age, but I’m starting to feel my age. There’s a resignation when people refer to me as “Mister” or “Sir,” whereas once there was indignity. I am what I am—a 43-year-old man with lines on his face and 150,000 miles on his body.

I’m blessed in myriad ways; as lucky as one could be.

But I’d pay good money for a slo-mo machine.

Anyone have one?

3 thoughts on “43”

  1. Generations before you/us lived by different rules. Saved for the future (the Depression helped shaped that mentality) and be a grown up. Our generation (I’m turning 50 later this year) and the half one before has partially changed some of those rules. Living life to it’s fullest is tough to do while you hold down a job to provide for your family etc. but you seem to enjoy simple things life throws at you and you have the luxury of a schedule you somewhat control day to day. Think of a moment 10 years ago, literally, and think about how LONG ago that was. Perspective.

  2. You want to slow down the days? Enjoy a Chicago winter! It just lasts and lasts, and lasts…..or you could become a Cub Fan.

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