Fourth Edition Me
I know, I know, given my dislike for a certain edition of a certain game the title of this entry comes of as ironic or cliche, but whatever, I’m taking it.
I was going to do this last week, but life is what happens when you make plans, to quote John Lennon. Events leading into Upgrade Day were going smoothly — dinner with Mom & Step Dad, dinner and a movie with Dad.*
And then last Monday I rear ended someone on the drive home. Hard. Fortunately no one was hurt, although the impact did some damage to my car that’ll keep it in the shop for a week, maybe two. Insurance is a good thing to have these days, and while I’m not hurting in the literal or fiscal sense, the accident did send me through a wonky mix of emotions for the rest of the week. Didn’t help that this past Saturday was my test for Shodan rank in my dojo. I passed the test, but talk about being a bundle of nerves.
With all that going on, turning forty was the least of my problems.
Strange as it may sound the past week put a LOT of things into perspective. Life is never in your favor, even when everything comes up Millhouse. Even when you’re alert to your surroundings, a split second can change things. It can be very frail, even when it looks to be strong for all intents and purposes. That doesn’t always prevent wonderful things from happening, but sometimes we stop ourselves from enjoying things — or achieving them — out of fear.
Forty is often seen as one of those “turning point” ages, where some people see it as an apex of their existence.** To apply the phrase “downhill from here” is a sign of degradation. When I look at my Father, who is 67 and has only felt that age for one brief passing moment, I call bullshit on that line of thinking. The genetic lottery has been good to me, even with phrases like “cancer” or “cogenital heart defect” occurring in the same sentence as “family medical history.” Both parents contributed to my intelligence and creativity, and I got a nice mix of good looks from both sides of the family. I managed to dodge male pattern baldness while getting the lean and strong physique from my Mom’s side of the family tree+. While I have my Father’s eyes++, I also snagged the ability to keep some semblance of youth. Seriously, Dad doesn’t look to be in his sixties, and a few folks thought I was in my late 20s.
Let’s not forget the fact that I spent the past ten months getting into shape and training my ass off at my old dojo. Over the hill? I say I’m just getting started scaling the mountain.
I’m not exactly stupid about this, however. I’m aware of my mortality — and a universe conspiring to kill me — due to the death of one of my best friends last year, and let’s face it, my parents are in their sixties now. Time marches on.
However, I think the past year has been a big step forward in my life. I’m doing what I love, both professionally and personally. I’ve in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and while I’m single, I’m not lonely. I could live in dread of the time I have left, or I could look to the future as untapped potential. I choose the latter, preferring to step, dance, shuffle, boogie or slide one pace ahead of Death. He’ll catch up to me one day, but my plan is get him worn out by then because when that day comes, it’s gonna be one hell of a fight scene.
Until then though, I just keep moving, doing, being and living. Fear? I’ll face it. Regrets? Never again.
*We saw Gravity. Great film. Loved the thrill ride.
** Fifty, so I’m told, is the official “over the hill” milestone, but I’ve seen forty treated the same way.
+ A facet I began rediscovering since January 2013.
++ Cogan’s Dystrophy sucks moose cock, but I did get the ability to stare down people while in a darkened movie theater.