Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's My Age Again?

I turned 40 earlier this month.  This frightens me beyond belief, especially considering I couldn't see past 30 before becoming a dad.  Although I try to ignore it, this scary fact keeps coming back to smack me in the chops.

I feel like 40 came charging at me with a vengeance after being so docile for the last few years.  My late thirties weren't so bad; I may not have had the energy and stamina of my youth, but I still retained my good health and good humor.  I was a SAHD of two wonderful boys.  Perhaps my fourth decade wouldn't be as bad as expected.

Riiiiiight!  (Cue ominous music)

Now I'm dealing with Diabetes, arthritis in my lower back and both hips, high blood pressure and low cholesterol (the good kind).  Add to this a son just entering his teens and a ten-year-old who already stands 5'3" and wears a size 10 1/2 men's shoe.

In short: I am afraid.

Also, there's the writer thing.  I took the moniker Mr. Write both as an inside joke and an inspiration (if that makes sense to you, you're as disturbed as I am).  Since the age of 15, I have seriously considered writing as a profession.  Oh, I'd written before that, plenty of short stories, poems, letters, and, especially, AD&D adventures.  But, until tenth grade, I lacked confidence in my ability.  Then I took a Creative Writing course in high school, and was praised for my words for the first time.  Mr. Edney was a great teacher, and I still think of him whenever sitting down in front of an open notebook or keyboard.

The problem is this: as much as I love writing and desire publication beyond any other pursuit, it still hasn't happened.  No, I'm not going to regale you with anecdotes about a stack of rejection letters.  The problem is still confidence.  I've never sent a single thing out to a publisher, beyond a poem I wrote in third grade for a school project, and the newspaper published EVERYBODY'S poems.

So, here I sit, 40 years old, with a dozen short stories and one unedited novel at my fingertips, and nothing really to show for it.  Hell, most times I sit down to write, I end up on Twitter or Cracked, wasting the day away.  What with homeschooling both boys, working part time and taking care of my share of housework, little time is left for creative pursuits.

What does all this have to do with hitting 40? It just goes to show how my mind wanders so easily at my age, off on weird and only-slightly-related tangents.  Listening to me talk is like trying to guess which way a football is going to bounce next.  Anywho, I've stumbled upon a new group of friends lately, people who share my and My Beloved's interests in books, games and movies.  What troubles me is their age.  All of them are in their 20's to, at the oldest, 30.  How do I relate to them?  Am I that creepy older guy at the movies with all the young people, looked at slantwise and whispered about?  Shit, I hope not!

More than anything, getting older has been pointed out to me by the internet.  Not just because I don't understand half of the memes or pop culture references anymore, or that my ten-year-old can figure out how to fix the computer when I'm left staring at it, slack-jawed.  After blogging and Twittering (I still refuse to use the term "Tweet" in any way not related to little yellow birds) about being a SAHD, I've noticed that most other SAHD either have babies, toddlers or pre-teens.  As I said before, mine are 10 and 13, reminding just how old I am.  Granted, that sometimes makes me cool, like when watching the Star Wars Trilogy (you know, the good one) and knowing all the words by heart, thereby impressing the boys.  OR explaining a cultural reference to something from the 70's or 80's that went over their heads.

Maybe hitting 40 isn't all bad.  It sure beats being a little kid and not being allowed to do anything, or being a teenager with more hormones than self-control and being watched disdainfully by every adult in range.  Even the insecurity and adjustment period of adulthood we all suffer through in our 20's is long a memory.  At least I have My Beloved, Felix and Oscar to cheer up my days.  And all you other hooligans on Twitter and Facebook to give me a grin once in a while.

Yeah, life is good.  As long as I can find the ibuprofen, that is...

1 comment:

  1. There'll come a day when suddenly you are ready to bite the bullet and send out your work. Even though your boys are growing up they are still young and subconsiciously that is probably what is stopping you. Just keep writing so that you have plenty more to offer when the time comes.
    Meanwhile, don't talk to me about hitting 40, I've built a whole blog around it ....!!