Yes, it’s my birthday.
Thirty-eight years ago, I came into this world, likely kicking and screaming and very hungry.
I’ll admit, I’ve had some apprehension about turning 38, for some reason. Age hasn’t really bothered me — I didn’t do anything on my 30th birthday, though that was largely due to the stomach flu — and I’ve never felt that age really mattered.
But for some reason, this year’s birthday has been a little bit of a downer.
Maybe it’s because, at 38, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished all of my professional goals. Or maybe I’m finally feeling that much closer to 40. Whatever the reason, I haven’t been looking forward to this day for awhile.
Then last night I found an article online that made me feel a little better about my age.
According to a story in the New York Times, when people over 65 were asked which age they’d most like to relive, they pointed to their 40s — not their 20s.
See, when you’re in your 40s — and I’m not there just yet! — you should have a good idea what you want out of life. Essentially, you’ve been there, done that, not going to do it again. When you’re in your 20s, you don’t know anything, though you think you know it all. You’ve haven’t figured out your life direction, you don’t know what you want in a relationship, you’re still watching MTV.
I’d have to agree.
I was an idiot in my 20s. I made bad choices in relationships, I ate too much, I turned down jobs that conflicted with my surf schedule. Instead of just doing something productive — like finishing writing a book — I was spending my afternoons at the beach and my evenings honing my guitar skills. While I don’t regret anything I’ve done — you can’t — I do wish I could go back and make smarter decisions.
I guess that’s what my 40s are for.
So 38 today? I’m still two years away from the best years of my life. So bring it. 🙂