Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Best Time to Be Alive

It's interesting that I set this goal of writing 20 posts in 30 days, not realizing at the time that it roughly coincided with my cousin's own countdown to her 40th birthday.

My cousin has a blog, but is not a blogger by any means. If that makes any sense.

Apparently there are some people who have blogs that are not really bloggers. What that means is, they haven't been blogging for very long, don't blog very often, and more than likely won't stick with it. Maybe they'll last a year or two at the most, but most newbie bloggers quit after six months. True fact, though I don't have the citation handy.

Well anyway, my cousin has a blog (sorry, can't share it, I have my reasons), which is less than a year old, only updates a couple of times a month, and never responds to comments. That's a tell tale sign right there: lack of interaction with your readers, suggests a disinterest in your audience. Not that you must respond to every single comment, but at least responding once in awhile, goes a long way in showing your appreciation and dedication to the blog.

So, my cousin is not what you would call a die hard blogger, is not a web savvy veteran in it for the long-term, but she is someone who created her blog primarily to document, and I think also to help her adjust emotionally to, the experience of being a first-time mother, but is not really what you would call a "mommy blog" either, more of a life lesson's blog, mostly intended for family, and has recently begun blogging about her impending mid-life crisis, that of turning 40, and not liking it one bit. That is a huge understatement, but we'll leave it at that.

I suppose it's a natural reaction, to feel a bit of apprehension about turning 40. 40 is a big number, for many it is the half way point in their life, and a pretty huge wake-up call that you are no longer a kid, that your youth is a fading memory. For many, that has repercussions that go beyond appearances, beyond that graying hair and wrinkled skin, but may also suggest a feeling of lost opportunities, of time passing you by. No longer do you feel as if you have all the time in the world, like you have your whole life ahead of you. At 40, it may feel as if time is running out at a rapidly accelerating pace, and like certain doors are closing to you, things you haven't done and may never be able to do. And after all, if you're no longer young, what are you? You're old. And if you're old, you're all the more closer to death.

That can be scary for most people.

I think 40 is a major turning point in people's lives, it's a time when you are feeling your own mortality more than ever. Though of course, by the time you reach 50 and 60, you realize that 40 was not old at all. And boy, when you reach 80, you reminisce about the good old days of those youthful 60's. I know that's a fact. My grandma, who turned 86 years old this year, told me so. How much she'd give to be 60 again, and had her whole life ahead of her. Well, try telling that to the 100 year old, how much they'd give to be 80 again.

Point is, it's all about perspective. You know the old cliche, you're only as old as you feel. It's true. How you feel largely shapes whether your experience of growing older is positive or negative. If you are in pain, can barely walk, and feel ugly and unloved, your experience of growing older may be miserable. This is where spirit comes into play. Your attitude, feelings, and beliefs help shape the quality of your life, perhaps just as much as your actual physical circumstances.

But let's face it, 40 is not old old. It's older than 20, but it's not time to be shipping off to the nursing home just yet. In many ways, it could be considered the beginning of the best years of your life. Though more often what it really means, is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and that too can be scary. It all depends on how you look at it, and of how you define youth and maturity. Getting older doesn't have to be considered a death sentence. When you die you die. People die at all different ages. Some young, some old. But really, it doesn't really matter what your age is, as long as you have your health, each remaining moment could be considered the best time to be alive.

As to myself, I'm not 40 yet, nor have I experienced a major crisis about aging, but the fact that I am closer to 40 than 20, is kind of sobering. It doesn't bother me though, at least not yet. I look young, think young, feel young, will probably be young all my life, at least in my heart and soul, even if I don't forever look it. To me, it is less about chronological age and the appearance of getting old, what matters more is how you feel about it, how well you adapt to the changes in your life, and whether or not you feel comfortable in your own skin.

*This is post 18 of 20, part of my "20 posts in 30 days" challenge.