On Turning 40

Today is my last day as a 30-something.  As some of you know, the reality of this has been surprisingly difficult for me to face.  This is in part due to the shocking rate at which time passes.  While the minutes and hours may drag by, I have blinked a few times and four decades and half my life (if I’m fortunate) have passed.

The other half of this curious comorbidity is the jarring contrast between the 40 I imagined as a youth and the 40 I now inhabit.  In my young mind’s eye I am married, of course. I probably have a couple kids and am a homeowner.   If I haven’t already sold it, I’m an owner of a tech business I started with a good friend of mine.  I still read and write voraciously and have self-published at least one book.  I have a tight-knit group of friends I’ve had for years and we spend evenings at each other’s homes weekly, conversing, cooking, laughing, and planning our next adventure.

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
― Robert Frost

Things change.  My life went…differently.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m in a good place, but it just isn’t what I thought it would be.  I’m single, never married, with no love interest on the horizon.  I have no kids that I know of (I celebrate Father’s Day every year just in case).  I live in an apartment that I love, not a house.  I never started that business and somehow ended up in Healthcare Information Technology.  I’ve worked for software companies, a start-up, big hospital systems, and a small independent hospital where I have worked closely with physicians, nurses, and operational leaders to improve patient safety and outcomes through the EHR.  It’s been immensely rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  And now I find myself back in another large healthcare system with seemingly endless opportunities for where my career could take me–it’s dizzying.

As for that tight-knit group of friends?  I have friends who have gotten me through some painfully tough times.  Friends who are incredibly funny and make me laugh until I cry.  Friends who are passionate about…something: cooking, their kids, building things, writing, travel, their career.  Friends who have loved me when I was unlovable. Friends who are just plain fun to do shit with.  I love you.  But life as an adult in 2018 is madness.  People are simultaneously busier than ever with events, get-togethers, vacations, conferences, entertainment and fed life intravenously without having to leave the house.  I’m a subject matter expert on this.  Who needs to shop or go out to eat when you have Amazon, instacart, UberEats, Grubhub?  Your entertainment, books, news are streamed in all their 4K 100 Mb/s glory directly to your TV, laptop, tablet, Kindle, phone.  The social interactions we crave are at least partially fed online.  Why do you need to see someone’s face when you have a Facebook?  So I struggle, many of us struggle to put the work in to keep seeing each other and staying truly relevant in each other’s lives.

Where does all this lead?  Change, and an Invitation.

The Change is me stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on something I might normally pass by.  I’ve started backpacking, cooking and baking, and recently started playing chess again. With the county library book club on hiatus due to renovations, I’m on the lookout for a replacement.  I hope to plan another backpack trip this Spring, and once I feel more comfortable with my cooking, look for dinner invites.  I’m also looking for volunteer opportunities in the community.  This blog itself is my attempt to get back into writing, even if it’s just talking about something I love.  I archived years worth of old posts and am starting from scratch.

The Invitation is open-ended.  Reach out.  If you’re going through something tough, hit me up.  I’m a good listener.  Wake up to a randomly beautiful Saturday or Sunday?  Let’s go for a day hike somewhere…or out for a boozy brunch. Come over and let’s cook something delicious and make everyone on Instagram jealous.  Wanna do something completely random and need a partner? Run it by me.  I’ll skydive, swing dance, start a religion…whatever.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

So 40, bring it on.  I’m ready.