Musings In Advance

When I turned 20, I was one of the youngest of my group of friends. I had watched them all make a big deal out of it, and I laughed. 20 was no problem.

When i turned 30, I was one of the youngest of my group of friends., although I had made a number of friends who were substantially younger. Between 20 and 30 I had graduated from university, worked full time for seven years (at three different companies), gotten married, bought my first house (and my second one), and had gone through four cars. And gone bald. With all of that stuff behind me, the fact that 29 turned to 30 didn’t seem like any big deal. 30 was no problem.

For some reason, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about 35 coming up early next month though. Maybe it’s the “as close to 50 as 20” thing. Or maybe it’s just the thing that Jonathan Carroll pegs exactly in his blog post today:

We lose it– it disappears, evaporates. The edge, the courage, the black madness and abandon of the young. The dazzle of living one hundred percent in the moment. It goes away, leaks out of us like water through cracks. Cracks that come from growing older. They start when you buy whole life insurance policies and mortgages, or hear the results of a not-so-good physical check-up. They start when there’s a need rather than a desire for warm baths. Safety over spontaneity, comfort over commotion. Part of him hated it. Not the growing older, but becoming tame, upstanding, predictable, half-hearted, skeptical about too much.

  8 comments for “Musings In Advance

  1. February 17, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Thirty-five sucked. Years that end in 5 are when you begin preparing for the ones that end in 0.

    But Carroll only speaks for himself.

  2. February 18, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Well, the good news is that there are lots of ways in which it won’t suck, even if I trick myself into some miserablism.

    As much as I hate becoming (OK, OK, “being”) predictable, there are some consolations that you get in trade for the loss of the black madness and abandon.

  3. February 19, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I suspect you’ll appreciate the trade-offs enormously. I expect a report in fifteen years!

  4. February 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    OK, you made me laugh, so I guess you win. Must be some of that wisdom stuff you’ve accreted.

  5. February 20, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Heh. Good to know my work here is done.

  6. Kira
    February 25, 2008 at 1:45 am

    I think it’s the lack of breakneck progress that does it. The still sameness of days upon days is more scary to me than mortality. Look how much you did in the previous decade!

    Thing is, the reason you haven’t done quite as much in the past five years as you did in the previous ten is because you found your life. You’re happy. You’re content. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. So congratulations…and if I accidentally miss it, happy 35 a little early.

  7. February 25, 2008 at 8:03 am

    You’ve definitely hit part of it on the head. Having months at a time go by where the answer to “What’s new?” is “Not much, unless you want to hear some parenting stories” is part of it. Not that there’s anything wrong with parenting stories–quite the opposite–but there did used to be a bit more of a mix.

  8. Kira
    March 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    OK, I’m a Luddite so you have to do the leg-work, but you MUST find a song by “Just Jack” entitled HOLD ON. That is all.

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This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.