Five and Thirty

So my birthday was a few weeks ago. The trip to Japan didn’t leave a lot of room for celebrating, as we spent most of our time over there being sick and taking care of each other. Shoka forced herself to muster the energy to go out and find me some cake, so that was nice.

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to settle in to my new age, as if that’s someone people actually did, and work has briefly calmed down to the point that I’m open to a few moments of reflections, it doesn’t feel too terribly different from any other year.

Thirty-five is a number of things:

  • Seven times five: “Every seven years it’s a whole new you.” Inspiring metaphor, huh? That’s probably nonsense, but on that arbitrary idea I suppose I’m now on James number six. The last one had a pretty good run.
  • Half of Seventy: I’ve often considered making it to seventy being essentially winning the lifespan game given my height. Looks like I’m half way there.
  • Early window into mid-life crisis territory: If Nick-at-Nite taught me anything about this, I’ll apparently get a sudden urge to buy a leather jacket, motorcycle, and then selfishly take a hiatus from family and work to ride around “soul searching.” Go ahead an punch me if that starts to happen.

In spite of these things, thirty-five isn’t celebrated as one of the many more important integers we reach in life. Mostly we care about things being divisible by ten, the legally important ages (sixteen, eighteen, and twenty-one), or the lexically important age of fourteen. Thirty is usually approached with dread, but by the time that year is over you should really be over your fears of being old, in spite of still being relatively young.

The most self-inflicted meaning it has for me, however, is it’s the age I always thought I was in high school. That was fully three Jameses ago, now. I was far more introverted then, full of all the teenage complexes that come from being too large too quickly, a combination of genetics and an uncurbed desire for carbohydrates and cheese. A superiority complex brought on by being a little too smart (as measured by my amazing ability to fill in the right bubbles when presented with multiple choice questions) did not help matters much. An adult of the era might have likely observed me as being mature for my age, but the reality was completely different.

There are people who say that high school is the best four years of your life, but all of my experience is to the contrary and the feeling mentally, at least as far as energy goes, is that I’ve continued getting younger since then. Seems like my mind is probably stuck somewhere between twenty-two and twenty-seven. I’m certainly in better shape physically, and hopefully that can continue to improve.

Not exactly sure where I’m going with all this, but things are going pretty well. I’ve got a lot of work to do and probably about three more good Jameses to do it with.

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