As seems to be the case in recent birthdays, I am always a tad more reflective on the days leading up to the big day then most other days.
No, I am not freaking out over the whole aging thing. I am exactly the age I am supposed to be and try not to live with regret over the past and I try really hard not to fret about the future. Living in the moment is where I strive to be each and every day.
However, I do think deeply about the feel of 47. What should I be experiencing as a newly minted 47’er? I don’t necessarily mean how my body feels. I am getting used to the little sounds I make getting in and out of chairs or getting up off the floor when I am laying flat trying to stretch out my hamstrings or my sore back. I have also gotten used to more frequent trips to the washroom in the middle of the night; always remembering to put the seat down when I am done my business (I live in a house of women…what do you expect?)
What I mean is the feeling of being trapped by all the grown up responsibilities and roles a 47 year old is supposed to have. Heck, Barack Obama, the leader of the free world is 47…who the hell am I, then?
Do I feel inferior to men like President Obama who is my age? Hell yeah. But I am ok with that. He is President afterall. Feeling inferior to a guy like that is perfectly normal and probably acceptable to many other 47 year old men who are of lesser international importance than Barack.
I am talking more about other people my age who maybe hold positions of authority and responsibility or who are making considerably more money in bigger and cushier jobs than me. How should I feel compared to guys like these?
I know I shouldn’t feel inferior, but I sometimes do and have been taking steps in my own mind to work on this. I know it’s a flaw of mine. I know that these mere mortals and are just like me in every way. They are human beings with two arms and two legs and at some point, just like me, will eventually die.
So why do I feel like a kid around them? Why do I feel so intimidated by their success and abundance? Why do I sometimes go into meetings with other men exactly the same age as me and feel like the weakling on the beach who feels like he is going to have sand kicked in his face by the bully?
I don’t have an answer to all these questions which leads me to believe that there really isn’t any legitimate logic to what I am thinking.
Maybe these guys are just better actors than me. Maybe they are just as scared as I am and do a better job of hiding it. I see old friends who I went to school with as kids, who have grown up, have grown up jobs, make grown up money and in some cases, have turned into fuddy-duddy grown ups. In my minds-eye, however, I still see them as young kids just as I remembered them.
Maybe we are really all the same in that regard. Maybe we are just adult versions of our former selves…hiding our child-like tendencies because we have to in our roles as adults.
While I understand that’s the way we have to be…I don’t like it.
Maybe I really didn’t fully enjoy and embrace being a kid when I was one and desperately want to still be a kid now…applying what I know as an adult to the kid-like world I so very much miss?
Maybe I am not the only one who feels this way? Maybe many grown ups hate being grown up because of all the bullshit that comes with being a grown up?
Maybe I am not really 47 afterall. Maybe I am 4 + 7…which is 11!
Wouldn’t it be fun to be 11 again? I look at my own 11 year old daughter and remind her to really enjoy being an 11 year old. I remind her that there really is no rush in wanting to be older because whether we like it or not…we automatically get older.
Maybe I should just really enjoy being 47 and not try to act any other way than the way I feel inside…be true to myself…be authentic and not worry about how I am supposed to be.
I’ll give it a shot.
Here’s to enjoying the next 365 days as a 47 year old.