Life begins at 40
For the last 40 (plus) days I have written 27 blog posts as my Lenten exercise. My ambition was 30 minutes a day. 40 blog posts in 40 days. Maybe next year. I’ve always been a little too permissive with myself. Too forgiving. Prone to negotiation and compromise. So 27 blog posts in 40 (plus) days seems just about right.
A number loaded with symbolism of both the religious and personal kind.
At 35 I am five years from a number that seemed so far away and foreign when I was in high school. College even. Then came 30. Soon 40. I must assume 50 will be just as sneaky. These decade markers are not unlike the seasonal ones we use to plod through the passage of time and make cycles of meaning along the way. I have come to relish these collective routines, perhaps because I am so bad about sticking to my individual ones.
Nevertheless, there is another epic number I relish.
As in, I will live until I am 100. No, really. It’s happening.
How’s that for a long term goal?
100 years of attitude.
As decade markers along this road to my centennial, I have begun to accrue the following goals:
In my 30s… learn to surf and learn a second (and a half) language…Kiswahili? Portuguese? 5 years left to decide.
In my 40s… A middle school travel abroad sabbatical (all family inclusive). Reserve you seat with this educational globetrotting co-op today!
In my 50s… Goat Farm. Goat Cheese. Goat Fudge. Will my college age children find this charming or humiliating? Only time will tell.
In my 60s… Banjo playing and a blue grass band to stave off the encroaching arthritis.
In my 70s… a purse dog named Puddin’. We shall wear matching outfits when I smuggle her into coffee shops. I won’t even pretend she is a therapy dog. I won’t have to. I will be too old and too charming to be refused.
In my 80s… a commune full of laughter and gardening with friends, former colleagues, and students…goats, too. Maybe some chickens.
In my 90s… “Alzheimer’s the Comedy.” (Soon to be a Broadway Musical.)
October 19th 2079… destination funeral. Request dime bags-o-barb. Scatter at will.
Some might call this delusion. Some might say such outlandish goals address the cognitive dissonance of not being able to accomplish one’s desires in the present.
Or maybe these goals are an invitation to others to join me in revelry towards our own inevitable evolution. Degradation. Transformation. An invitation to embrace these common markers of time that move us through the years, but not without question. An invitation to invent new traditions that are more productive and inclusive.
To know that each season of ourselves involves both a letting go and a picking up.
Self-acceptance of the selves we have been and the selves we will become.
Thank you to those of you who have traveled with me through this Lent. Thank you for those who have traveled with me all along. And thank you for those who will journey with me into my 100 years of attitude.