This past week marked the 25th year of my life.
I've never been one to dwell on birthdays and the like; I'm not one to believe in relative and arbitrary systems, as our calendar is, but I cannot help feeling...old.
Yup, a "mere" 25 and I already feel old. My wife says I have some gray hairs already. You know, in high school, I used to be able to get my whole hand above a regulation rim (genetics cursed me with hands just ever so slightly too small to palm the ball while attempting a dunk); I used to be able to play basketball at the park in the sun for 4-5 hours at a time without much issue. Nowadays, a few good minutes at the gym and I'm winded and heaving for breath.
Such is life. Did I mention that I feel old? Not so much in spirit I guess. I still enjoy many of the same things I did in my younger days (now I'm sounding old, too...just wait 'til I turn 30) like gaming, playing basketball, Scrabble, watching X-Files, and working out. Simple things, you know? But at this junction in life, I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm being too simple. After all, there is a world to see and experiences to live out there. But then again, I'm quite lazy when it comes to travel (lucky you're not my wife).
Perhaps Perry Bible Fellowship sums up my view of birthdays best with this simple comic strip. To be another tick closer to the end of it all. 25 is a weird milestone. It's the age when you're finally allowed to rent cars without penalty. You typically get an auto-insurance discount when you're 25+. It's the outlier of that 18-24 age bracket so covetted by advertisers (what, 25 ain't good enough for you?). It's half ways to 30.
Not all is bad in the passage of the years; my relationships, I think, have gotten better in the last few years. With my wife, with my mother, with my sister, and with others around me. I've always been a personable guy (okay, maybe that's stretching it :-)), but not necessarily a sociable guy (likely due to my INTP profile). I still live in my head waaaay too much, but I like to think I'm working on that (see what I did there?).
I watched The Weatherman today with the wife. It's a great movie and I think it only made me start to do a bit more thinking about life. I'm not sure who originally came up with the saying that "nothing worthwhile in life is easy" (paraphrasing), but it's quite true. From interpersonal relationships, business endeavors, interior decorating (just because I've been on this interior decorating kick), cooking, basketball, photography, archery, anything...if you don't put effort into it, the end results will be nothing more than a fast food experience: passable, but ultimately unfulfilling and providing little nourishment (and it may even cause some constipation tomorrow).
You know, this last week I was stuck in a hotel in New Hampshire for four days and on my trip home, I contemplated what it was that I missed the most. It was not my 42" HDTV (though I did miss my ESPN2 and USA Basketball). It was not my leather office chair (though the room did have the most uncomfortable chair ever designed). It was nothing like that. It was my mom's cooking. I missed it terribly. I missed it because so much love and care goes into each meal she prepares. She asks what I want to eat, she cooks with great enthusiasm, and she prepares the food with great care. It's because it's not easy to prepare a full meal and work a full time job, as she does many days of the week, that I find it so worthwhile and fulfilling (or to put it another way, yummy in my tummy). Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to "that day".
I guess growing old does this kind of thing to you. You start to think about the things a little differently.