Today is my birthday. I’m 35, and while 35 doesn’t have the same ring to it as turning 21, or 30, or 40…this one has gotten me thinking more than any other in a long time. I used to joke that 25 was a more important birthday than 21. At 21, you could buy alcohol finally but most people have a way to get alcohol long before they officially turn 21. 25, however, means you are too old for Spring Break with the college kids. 25 also means that if you don’t have a job then you’re not “finding yourself” anymore; you are just plain lazy.

35 is hitting me harder for two reasons. First, at 35 I realize I am no longer a “young man.” Maybe I haven’t been a young man in a long time, but I’ve always felt like one. I’ve always felt like I was “young” in the sense that all of my potential was still in front of me and the possibilities for my life were endless. Now, I’m not so sure that’s the case. I’m not sad or regretful….I’m just more aware of the passage of time.

Secondly, even though people in my family have often lived well in to their 70’s or 80’s, it always occurred to me that living to 70 would be a ripe old age. 35 is obviously halfway to 70. I’m not sure I believe my life is exactly half over…I’m just more aware that the halfway point isn’t as distant as it used to be.

So what? Well, in 35 years I’ve done some amazing things. I’ve accumulated some amazing experiences and have some amazing relationships. I’ve been on wild adventures and I’ve taken the time to stop and listen to the breeze blow by. I know what I like and the type of person I am. I know what’s important and I know how I like to spend my time. I know that 35 years from now I hope to be sitting on a porch with my family, watching the waves roll in, while listening to Van Morrison sing “In to the Mystic”.

Happy 35th birthday, me.


One Response

  1. Happy late birthday…really late. I am not 35 yet but extremely close. I am old enough that no one asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well besides me. At this point, I just want 25% of my life back. 25% to spend with my wife, children and maybe grandchildren at that time. So if 70 is the end of the line and 35 the halfway point…then 53 is the “get the hell out of the rat race and enjoy life” check point. I could care less about being a policeman, astronaut, etc. I just want that 25% back and maybe more. Funny how goals and priorities change over time…

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