Happy Birthday too Me

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It seems for the last ten years I’ve been evaluating my life, and the lives and the paths that I have chosen to take.  Today I turned forty.  I guess we each do it at different times and with different emphasis. Sometimes people do it around high school or college graduation time, when deciding what career to pursue, how we want to be regarded by society, friends, and family or how to transition ourselves from a student to a grown up.

Some people do the evaluative process when planning for a family. I’ve been reflecting a lot today, thinking of where my parents were in their life at forty, and where I am.  For many of us, however, hitting a certain age can cause one to stop and take pause. This happened to me today.  I guess I’m really middle aged now huh?

Part of the problem for me with aging is that I never “feel” my age. I have this preconceived notion about what a person should be feeling or doing at a given age. I am always surprised though that I never match up with what my notion is. I have also realized that no one ever wants to be their real age. I feel like I’ve always been older than I really am.   Even when I was twenty, I mostly hung out with people in their forties.   So here I am today forty.

Everyone has been asking me today, do you feel forty, I started to think about what that meant. My dad even said I was getting “old”, (I turn 40 today, something he found a little delight in!). I remember that when my parents turned 40, I thought that it did seem old. Today, I don’t feel like I thought 40 would feel. I certainly don’t feel old; I certainly don’t feel like twenty either! So how am I supposed to feel? How am I supposed to act? Do I have to be more serious and mature? Am I suppose to start taking naps and taking fiber and prunes? 

In making the decision about how forty feels, and who I was going to be as a forty year old, I had to first look at who I was and how I currently felt. I have been plagued by a gnawing sense of insecurity since childhood, something that I have tried to work on for years. I didn’t always like myself and found it hard to have confidence in myself or my work. Friends and family would often be frustrated when paying me a compliment because I never wanted to believe them. I thought that they were only saying the words to be nice. But for some reason, turning 40 is making me look at my life and the things that I have accomplished differently. What I am realizing is that I really do have some good stuff under my belt. I am realizing that I am the only one holding me back and that I can have another 40 remarkable years if I let myself. I am beginning to truly believe that age is only a number and that the soul is only as old as you feel. In my research, there aren’t any hard and fast rules for how 40 acts or thinks or feels. So, I have decided to create my own definition, feel free to borrow it if you like!

I want to go to the park and run with my niece Autumn and nephews Eli and Ethan and play freezetag. I want to swim in the summer and the winter.  I want to like myself and the life that I live because I am choosing to do so. I don’t want someone to tell me that I need to act my age, I want them to be envious that I don’t. I am choosing to believe that I am worthy of friendships, love, happiness, and any compliment that someone chooses to offer. I am embracing the fact that I am going to be 40, and I am going to feel great about starting a new page in my book of life. I am choosing to go after what I want and if I don’t get it, I will choose not to let it devastate me. When that happens, I’ll pick up my behind and go after something else. I want to feel alive and proud and energized by my family, friends, and my own desire not to be a couch potato. I want to feel like dancin’. (Ok, maybe I am getting a bit carried away, but I think you get the pointI saw this quote today it is not mine, but I really enjoyed it.  “In every moment, we teach either love or fear. As we demonstrate love towards others…we learn how to love more deeply.”  What an amazing quote he has there.  I thought this would be a good quote for me to write down somewhere, I would like this to be what my forties is like.

I am also trying to eat wiser. Exercise more, get out there.   Learn, live, play, have fun.  I heard from my family and friends today, wishing me much happiness and success.   Last night I had a dream.  Many of the people I care about and have cared about were in the dream.   I walked up to them and asked why are you here in my dream, they told me that I asked them to be there.   I have learned much from many.  At moments I have felt many different emotions on turning forty today, but mostly I am proud of turning forty.  Maybe my evaluation will be a bit different than in my thirties, maybe I am just starting to evaluate  my life again.   I felt I have grown much in the last ten years, I hope I grow as much the next ten and hopefully not out.   I love to watch my family and loved ones as they grow as well.  I want to see that my family and friends continued to bring me joy and completeness, and that I have shared more of myself with them. I hope to see that I have continued to grow personally and that I have more in my life to be grateful for. And mostly I hope that at fifty I feel as great and proud as I do today!

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~ by deveil on DecemberUTCb000000pmTue, 11 Dec 2007 22:46:27 +000007 19, 2007.

12 Responses to “Happy Birthday too Me”

  1. Happy Birthday and welcome to the 40’s. It ain’t so bad!

  2. Happy Birthday hot man!
    I hope I look as good @ 40

  3. Happy Birthday….wish I were 40 again 😉

  4. Happy big-40, bud! Post an birthday entry for you on my blog, check it out!
    http://icejohnsworld.blogspot.com

  5. Happy Belated 40th Birthday Derek! I just got moved and found a way to get DSL…whew!

    Here’s to at least 40 more happy years!!! HUGS

  6. Happy Birthday, my friend!

  7. Like I told you earlier….it’s always nice to have another person in the 40’s Club!! Welcome aboard…there’s no turning back!

  8. many, many happy returns on this feast day of your nativity!!
    welcome to the 2nd half of life, which in jungian pyschology anyway, is the real/better part of a man’s life. may it be so for you.
    ooxx

  9. Happy Belated Birthday

  10. Happy Happy Birthday. My forties were great, sortof. And the sortof part had nothing to do with age, but choices. Now the fifties are looking pretty good.! And you’re so dear, so kind, and so hot. You go, bro!

  11. You know, I could’ve written those exact words. I am only a pup at 32, but the passage:
    “I didn’t always like myself and found it hard to have confidence in myself or my work. Friends and family would often be frustrated when paying me a compliment because I never wanted to believe them. I thought that they were only saying the words to be nice.”
    truly hit home to me! I am working on it though. But as weird as it sounds, be called sexy or handsome are still very hard for me to swallow!

  12. Happy late birthday, and thank you for the warm 2008 wishes. I return similar sentiments to you and to yours. You always have such wonderful photographs here, of places, of people, of family and of yourself. Your portrait on this post is so nice; very handsome and well composed. The age of reflection and self examination varies. I seem to have periodic ones at significant sign posts of life, representing changes in the terrain and of perspective as one ages. What seems right today can seem wrong tomorrow, and visa versa.

    I too have been plagued with lack of self confidence in my earlier years. One of the things that I had to learn how to do was to receive complements. One would think that that would be easy and instinctual for most people, but it was something I needed to learn. It has only been in the last 10 years that I have been able to sit back and let people make over me – I have been more used to being the doer rather than the receiver in this regards. Luckily I have net a few kind hearted ones who treat me with great affection and thoughtfulness, and I let them make over me, even thought I LOVE adoring them, too.

    Life is a balance of give and take and I hope to have this process mastered before I run out of time…

    Speaking of time, I have been spending all my time on my other web site which is become a full blown multi media research book – encompassing all of 10,000 years of popular culture (using an extreme wide angle lense) and an examination of one slice in exhausting detail (using an equally extreme macro lense). In other words, I have had a lot of time to sit and observe, and now I will post my reflections.

    I am going to post four or five new things on the Saturday Soup site *just posted a collage takeoff on the delightful Fox News*. Now that I do not spend much time there, it seems to get a lot more visitors. That makes no sense at all. Will come back later to examine your other recent posts all which I have missed by my preoccupation (obsession?) with what I have been working one. Cheers Mister D.

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