Monday, August 12, 2013

The New 40

When I woke up the other morning (Thursday, 8 August 2013), something shocking happened. I turned forty. Actually, it wasn’t that shocking. I didn’t want people to make a fuss. I didn’t want (or need) expensive gifts or a fancy dinner out. I wanted a day, as a friend of mine put it, to do “Marcus things.”

And in many ways, it was a day like any other day. I got up and began the day with my “Morning Pages,” and then went for a run. I spent a couple of hours, seated on the patio at Spot Coffee (City Place), working on the rewrite of my latest novel project. The day concluded with a delicious, home-cooked meal and a quiet evening at home with my partner. Throughout the day friends offered birthday wishes over the phone, and by e-mail and text message. It was a day when I felt truly loved.

One of my friends suggested that forty was the new twenty, and that in fifteen years I would enjoy the seniors’ discounts at Shoppers Drug Mart. Hmm. I certainly hope that forty is not the new twenty because I have no desire to relive my twenties. They were good times, but they are in the past and I’d like to leave them there. And I’m in no hurry to rush towards my fifties to benefit from seniors’ discounts at Shoppers Drug Mart or elsewhere.

Why not, simply, enjoy the now?

Each day I do my best to be present in the present, and do the things I love to do. On my days off, I make time for my writing, and try to catch up with friends and family. Weather permitting, I get out for a run. I look for new and creative dinner ideas. I find new ways to make my partner laugh and keep the romance alive in our relationship. When I’m at work, I give it my all. I remain positive and check any negativity before arriving at work. I try to see the beauty in all that surrounds me. Life is what you make it, and I’m committed to making life a fun and adventurous journey.

So now I’m forty. It’s not a big deal, at least not to me. Maybe that’s because I feel confident that I am on the right path. I’m not trying to please anyone else. I’m not trying to be someone that I’m not. I’m not trying to act or look younger than I am. I am simply being me. I’m doing the things I love to do, and I’m surrounded by people who love, support and encourage me. And that makes all the difference.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” That’s how I’m living at forty, still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams. And all I can say is this: “Ain’t life grand!”

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