It is 5:42 AM on May 4th 2017. Life has been a blur recently and I haven’t had time to write a journal entry.
This is the month where I turn 40. This significant birthday has been looming on the horizon for some time now and made me feel as though I had turned forty some time ago. My body has also let me know that I’m not twenty anymore with it being much stiffer the next morning after karate or a workout. The only time I feel extremely loose is after karate practice but then pay for it the next day.
In fact, I hurt myself twice, but not in karate; here is what happened. 24 Fitness has been greatly increasing their prices over the past five years. I remember I could buy a two year memberships from Costoco for around $210 four to five years ago. Costco had the absolute best 24 Hour Fitness deal. Well now they are charging $400 for two years which is too much especially considering the wife has a membership and eventually the kids will as well. So I decided to build my very own gym in the separate single car garage.
In order to do it cheaply I’m doing it all myself. I bought drywall from Home Depot and put that up in the garage to make it look really nice. This is how I hurt myself. Drywall is not exactly light and I put up about 25 pieces by myself. They are attached in fives and when bundled together are extremely heavy. Well, I was moving them from one area of the garage to the other by pushing and sliding when my lower back said ‘enough!’ I got a sharp electric shock in my lower back and fell down. I didn’t get hurt too bad but it was very scary as screwing up a back is serious and something that doesn’t just go away. Luckily, I’m fine but haven’t returned to not feeling anything at all as I did before: there is still a little something and although it doesn’t bother me I would prefer to feel completely normal in my lower back.
In addition to the back I also hurt my ankle and have no idea how I did it. I was up and down ladders thousands of times putting this drywall up and think I either landed on it wrong or perhaps used my foot to catch a piece of drywall really bruising it. It has been hurt for over two weeks although is steadily getting better. I just need to try and keep off it for as much as possible.
So in turning 40 my body lets me know I’m not invincible anymore although I think I could have hurt myself just as easily when I was 20 trying to sling drywall around.
Also, at this age I see pictures of my old acquaintances who I haven’t seen in a long time and many of them are starting to look old. Gray hair or even no hair is prevalent and I too am getting gray! However, I keep mine very short so it isn’t very noticeable. If there is one thing that lets you know you’ve aged it is certainly gray hair. But it is shocking to see people in your age group you haven’t seen for a while looking like an old person.
Forty years old is also the time where you should really be where you want to be in life. The twenties were ok for looking around and exploring but in the ten years that comprise the 30s some solid decisions should have been made. For me, I’m perfectly satisfied with all my decisions and how I spent the first part of my life. If I could make one thing better it would be to have my own business but still be able to spend just as much time with my kids. This is wishful thinking as running your own business requires a lot of work. In life, I feel that it is much more important to create strong bonds with your kids and spend as much time with them as possible. Looking back on a life well spent one remembers being with their family and the special moments shared. I can’t think of anyone who would look back and reminisce about work in the same way.
At forty years old life reminds you that it goes by very quickly. What happened to the older generation that used to be in charge, those that were the generation older than my parents? They’ve faded away from the hustle and bustle of business and society, now relegated to the sidelines with the majority having passed away. My parents generation now runs the highest government positions and over the next ten years or so it will become my generation that is the President, members of Congress and so on. At the lower tiers I see people that are younger than me. My Dad told me once, ‘You know you’ve aged when the cops start looking younger than you.’ Well, the cops often do look younger than me now. I see younger people running for city council positions, writing newspaper articles and doing things that only people older than me once did.
At forty years old your family is the focus of your entire life. That circle of friends which used to be your center and helped you feel secure are a long distant memory, with its influence having begun to wain more than twenty years ago and today being nothing more than a shadow.
Also at forty you look around and realize the world has changed. Your music is now on the ‘oldies’ or ‘throwback’ station, programs such as Paul Harvey, New Year’s with Dick Clark, reliable news anchors you thought were immortal, and much that used to be familiar now resides in the past. You open your eyes, take stock of the world and let out a gasp that you’ve lived half of your life.
Well, it is now 6:12 AM and the household is waking up. Time to start the day.