Mid-life

It is official. I have officially reached “mid-life” today. According to Psalm 90:10: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten…” That’s 70 years old for those of you who don’t count in scores. And the midway point of three score years and ten is 35 years of age, which is what I turned today.

It means that any crisis that were to befall me on this day would be considered a “midlife” crisis. It means several other things as well.

I am, for instance, now officially eligible to run for President of the United States. I would make a good President with my broad appeal, my fiery oration, my charming good looks. Of course, I lack the several hundred million dollars I would need to win a Presidential campaign, but that is really my only hurdle. Aside from that minor issues, I’m sure I could win in 2008.

Turning 35 also means that yesterday was the last day that my optimum heart rate for cardio workouts will be 149. I imagine that, beginning today, my heart rate will drop to 141 or even the high 130s. The machine will think that I am an old man incapable of maintaining a moderately excited heart rate. It’s a good thing that I never paid much attention to that anyway.

I will have to absorb some abuse from those friends and family members who have not yet reached mid-life. This I will do with a resigned, wizened smile, thinking to myself, ah, kids today…. Those friends and family who are older than me are less likely to tease me about my age, not wanting to face return fire.

I am five times seven years old today. I can remember myself at seven as if it was yesterday, can recall scenes around me in great details, and can even remember the thoughts going through my head at the time. To that seven-year-old, I have now lived 5 life times, which is pretty cool. To this new 35-year-old, I’ve got about one life-time to go, assuming I take Psalm 90:10 at face value.

Actually, that particular Psalm is among my favorite. It is poetic, it has parallelism to it, and there are elements of truth in what it tries to get across. And I don’t buy it for a second. The average person did not start living into their seventies until well into the twentieth century. Back when the Psalm was written, people were lucky to live to be my age today. Threescore years and ten represented an absolute maximum for them. If the Psalm were written today, it might read: “The day of our years are five score years and ten…” (110 years) and hold more or less the same meaning. It is the second part of the verse that carries the message: “And if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” This is crazy-talk if you ask me. It doesn’t seem to consider the fact that each extra moment we have can have positive or negative affects on those around us. Sure, it may be soon cut off and we may fly away, but the extra ten years (or five years, or fifteen minutes) is time we have to have an impact on the world around us.

Today is an ideal day to listen to my autobiography playlist, which covers music from my first awareness through just a few years ago. I’ll probably listen to that while I am not in meetings. And I’ll have more to say about it as the day progresses.

I didn’t go to the gym this morning, allowing myself to sleep in once more. I plan on going at lunch today, if I can squeeze it in between meetings that I have immediately before and immediately after. It turns out that I have three hours of meetings on the books today which is an hour less than yesterday.

Yesterday, I started my traditional annual reading of Isaac Asimov’s autobiographies, beginning with I. Asimov and continuing with In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt. This marks the 14th time that I have read I. Asimov. It will mark the 11th time I’ve read the other two books. I never get tired of them. I look forward to them every spring, and this year, I started a little early only because I needed something to fill in the void left from having to come back to work after such and awesome vacation.

strausmouse suggested to me yesterday that it’s time for a mid-life crisis, that perhaps I should go out an buy a sports car or something. This may be mid-life, but there is no crisis. Today is like any other day; it just happens to coincide with the fact that the earth is in the same position, relative to the sun, as the day that I was born, thirty-five years ago.

Do I feel “old”? Hell no. I feel as young as ever. I feel as if I can take on the world. I’ve got my friends to thank for this, most of whom are slightly younger than me. They all act like a bunch of teenagers and they keep me feeling youthful and spritely with their antics. I may be 35 but I feel like I’m 25. I suppose I always will.