On this, my 43rd birthday, I can’t help but remember what Indiana Jones said in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Grousing about a body beat to hell from a life of adventure, he noted that it’s not the age but the mileage.
I have to admit, my mileage shows. My beard is getting grayer. My knees aren’t as durable as they used to be. I’ve got sleep apnea and bad vision. But then all these things existed on my 42nd birthday. And my 40th and 38th. Which means I’m not at all bothered by it.
I’ve always had trouble understanding people who get depressed about their birthdays. What’s not to love about not being dead; of making it another year?
I’m always mindful of the fact that I had severe illness as a kid. That I haven’t yet developed colon cancer after all the damage Crohn’s Disease did to me in my youth is pretty amazing. I’ve seen a sibling and some good friends die young, and the fact that I’m so many years older than they were at their deaths makes me realize how lucky I am.
And hell, I’m still a kid in many respects. I love new toys, especially technological gadgetry and musical instruments. In the past year, I’ve collected guitars, amps and effects pedals with the same enthusiasm I had as a boy collecting Star Wars action figures and ships. I still play my music at maximum volume. I still love a good party, even if I no longer drink.
I’ve also found that being in my 40s is much better than being in my 20s and 30s. A lot of those years were full of suckage: jobs that chained me to desks for 80 hours a week, a body much heavier than it is now, OCD, and fear, anxiety, and depression that kept me in hiding much of the time.
At 43, I have a career that I love. I have the best wife on Earth and two boys that teach me something new every day. I have many, many friends who have helped me along in more ways than they’ll ever know.
This aging thing ain’t half bad.
Another year of graying whiskers, sore knees and hectic business travel? Bring it on.