So what exactly does being middle age mean?
The other night as I lay awake in bed, I started thinking about my upcoming venture into the realm of Middle Age. It sounds almost mythical ... almost. I pondered the notion of people taking me just a little more seriously once I hit that big 40, but then it occurred to me. Turning 40 is not unlike living your teenage years all over again because it seem like you go back to that "awkward" age where you're a little too old to hang out with the youngsters because you're not hip to their lingo, but not quite old enough to hang out with the cool old people for the very same reason. I guess that's why they call it middle age since you're stuck in the middle.
While I'm not fearful about turning 40 this year, I am somewhat anxious about what being in my 40s would entail. It's kind of like how that one country song that goes, "I'm much too young to feel this dang old." Again, I think it's because being in your 40s makes you feel like you don't quite belong anywhere and no one really wants to have anything to do with you - unless they needed money or a ride somewhere.
You start to reflect back on your youth during times when you had no other responsibilities other than doing your homework and no other worries besides getting in trouble with your father for not doing your chores. Now you're the one with the 9-to-5 job and earning money to pay for numerous bills and barely enough time to do fun things besides watch the news to watch a few talking heads argue about the "hot button" issues of the day. If you're lucky, you get to sneak in a few minutes little late night television before succumbing to the exhaustion that is your typical day. And you wonder, "Where did my youth go?"
On the other hand, you also tend to reflect about the future, wondering if you're doing the right thing to ensure that you continue to live life to the fullest each and every single day. You wonder if you're teaching your children everything they need to know about life so they don't become as clueless as you once were at their age. You wonder what the world will be like 10, 20, 50 years from now, if you're fortunate enough to enjoy a long, fruitful life. And you wonder, "Who will benefit from what I've learned?"
So perhaps, becoming 40 isn't so bad after all. I guess I'll be finding that out for myself when the time comes. In the end, it's all just a matter of perspective.