Getting Old, Part 1: Celebrating it

I’m getting old.

Sometimes getting old is a bad thing. Sometimes it’s GREAT.

Welcome to my 8-Part series on getting old, embracing getting old, what to do about it (no, it won’t involve a “blood boy”), and bragging about why I’m awesome being old.

I’ll start by bringing the room down (great way to start a Blog). If you made it to 48-years-old, like me, CONGRATS!. Actually, if you’ve made it any age and you still (mostly) get out of bed without groaning and haven’t “survived” anything major, CONGRATS, again. If you’re not struggling emotionally and mentally …again …CONGRATS. If you have a family, friends, and you laugh out loud (I mean REALLY LOLing) at least once a week, and you have wrinkles near the corners of your eyes because you smile alot … YOU’VE ALREADY WON. You might know this, already, and if you do, I’m happy for you.

It ain’t easy being cheery and counting your blessings, all the time, but if you work at it and practice, your life, attitude, and optimism will improve.

Which brings me back to, well … me. Which might also be you … a little. I’m in my late 40s. Is that “mid life” and should I be having a “crisis?” I would have to live into my 90s for this to be mid-life …oh, no. That means I missed my actual “mid-life” and never had my crisis. Why? What happened? Why didn’t I freak out when I turned 40 realizing the best-of-times was behind me and I hadn’t written my best seller, hadn’t done a full triathlon, and wasn’t the CEO of a company I founded (after founding two other start-ups and selling them for millions)? 

Why didn’t I have my mid-life crisis?

I’ll tell you why? I was too busy having a mid-life awakening. I’ve said for years that “life” doesn’t even begin, maybe, until we’re 25. Think about it …for the first 18 years of our lives, most of us live out the same script as everyone else. We don’t make our own choices. We don’t have adventures. We mostly do what everyone else does in order to get to 18 and then most of us do the next thing everyone else does (college?) and that takes us to 23 years old.

Oh, sure, you can mix in some pretty awesome stuff during that time, but mostly it’s the script. Let me guess …you made your lifelong friends? You fell in love and got engaged. You won something great in high-school and you bought your first car? My point is, whatever you did, mostly someone else was guiding those decisions.

Life, my friends, begins at 25. And I could actually argue that it doesn’t begin until 30 (I was pretty much an idiot throughout my 20s, but don’t worry, my kids weren’t born until I was 30 and got smart).

And if life begins at 30, and I’m going to live until I’m 80, that makes my “mid life” actually 55 years old and that means I have 7 full years to be care-free until I FREAK OUT at mid-life.

Before you’re 30, you don’t even know what you want or what makes you happy. Only after that do people start to realize what really makes them happy. Like for me, happiness is a summer vacation at the same spot every year. It’s taking 5-minutes to make a cuppa coffee with quality beans. It’s writing a Blog that only a few people read. It’s building bonfires in my backyard. It’s having a perfect lawn. It’s buying the perfect grill. It’s a black car with black leather interior. It’s quality audio equipment. It’s a whisky & ginger ale. It’s a good beer. It’s a cheap beer. Happiness, happiness, happiness. 

I’m not saying life won’t have sad, heartbreaking, and disastrous moments that make it awfully hard to be happy but when bad things happen, I remind myself I’m not the first person going through a bad time, and some people have gone through much worse and sometimes they do it alone and don’t have the family and friends I have. Oops, there I go, again …turning negatives into positives and sadness into gratefulness.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I hope you haven’t had too much tragedy in your life and I hope you don’t leave a comment like, “well, easy for you to say, you’re lucky and you can say that because only good things seem to happen to you.”

Trust me. Every moment of my 48-years hasn’t been Ozzie & Harriet or Leave It to Beaver. I’ve had my moments.

But I’m glad for them. They make me appreciate the things in my life, now, and those sad moments help me understand what makes me truly happy and . . . I’m just getting started.

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