I’m Middle-Aged

In about 5 weeks I will turn 45. 45??? How in the hell did I get to be 45? Wasn’t I just 25? I demand a recount. Maybe those people investigating the President’s claim of rampant voter fraud can look into this age fraud of mine when they’re done.

45 might seem like a benign age. But I see it differently. After this year, I’m on the downside of my 40’s. Before it was, “Well, I’m in my early 40’s. Closer to my 30’s than 50.” That changes soon. Very soon.

Whatever 45 is, I don’t feel it. Except those mornings after I play 2 hours of tennis. Then, I feel 75. I’m fortunate, though. Good genes, a fast metabolism and a commitment to physical exercise have kept me in good shape and with a healthy disposition. But, even if age is just a number, it still stings a bit to know that in a few short years there’ll be 50 candles on my birthday cake.

Middle age people were always people like my dad or his friends — guys who were halfway through their careers, tethered to a mortgage and trying, desperately, to plan for their financial futures. Guess what? That defines me. I spend a lot of time these days fretting over my 401k, obsessively wondering if I’ll have enough money so my wife and I can retire. Mailers that come to the house advertising retirement properties in Tennessee and North Carolina always catch my eye and I’m wondering if I’ll ever be aged out of my job, replaced by a younger, cheaper version of me.

Time is a funny thing.

There’s nothing I can do about aging, of course. I can’t change time. And I’m not sure I’d want to. The decisions that I made as a younger man worked out to a large degree and I feel like those choices and decisions have led me to a happy, fulfilling time in my life. I remember those moments as a young man thinking that things would be great when I had a wife, kids and enough money to buy a nice house and take vacations. Well, that time is now. That’s the benefit of middle age — a tiny slice of comfort, the knowledge of who I am and the ability to make reasoned, sound choices to put myself and my family on the best possible future track.

While I cannot steal extra time, I’m left with one path — make the best use of the time I do have. And I do have a lot of time. I will continue to exercise and do yoga. I will continue to make healthy eating a priority to, hopefully, stave off health problems. I will continue to stay relevant by embracing technology, listening to current music, reading new books and learning about the world around me. I will continue to prioritize my relationship with my wife and our mutual friendships. And, most importantly, I will continue to spend every free, waking moment with my children, imbuing them with as much wisdom as my tiny brain will allow.

That, to me, is middle age. That glorious place between youth and old age when we’ve learned enough to live well and have the mind, body and spirit to enjoy it.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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