Jan 16, 2017

Life Begins at Forty

I must admit that I used to scoff at the old adage "Life begins at forty".   I'm not trying to perpetuate a cliche, but I truly believe with all of my heart that this saying indeed holds water.  Everyone is different, and some may come to this type of epiphany a little sooner or later than others. Granted.. I took me half of a year after I turned forty to realize this, but then again.. I was always somewhat of a late bloomer.

I'm not sure what it is about approaching midlife that gets people to start deeply examining their lives. All I can speak about is what I'm feeling personally, and the philosophies that seemed to sprout in my brain virtually overnight.  Here's a few of them..

  • Life is precious, and I don't want to waste anymore time dwelling on what I can't change, and what I can't control, meaning.. the past and the future. One can only live in the here and now, and as John Lennon so eloquently stated.. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".  I must say that this hasn't been the easiest thing for me to do, but my attitude has improved one hundred times over by keeping this philosophy in the forefront of my mind.

  • I'm slowly freeing myself from the box I've wiggled myself into.  There are so many things I've kept myself from doing over the years because they didn't seem practical for whatever reason.  Many dreams I've always had, have got pushed to the back burner or forgotten about altogether. I was either too busy, or had more pressing commitments that I felt needed my attention first. Things like learning a musical instrument, taking time for myself everyday (even if its five minutes) and writing a book, are just a few things that have totally changed my outlook and have brought immense joy to my life in this new year.

  • I want the second half of my life to be better than the first half.  I'm blessed that I have my health, and fully intend to improve upon it.  I'm actually really enjoying being more active and eating better, because it's helping me to experience as much as this life has to offer.  To do so for many years to come, means that I have to be on top of my game health wise.  It's time for Dad to become a lean, mean, man of the world!

  • For the first time in my life, I'm actually starting to feel comfortable with who I am.  This feeling has got me doing and saying things I would have never done before due to a lack of self confidence.  This feeling of empowerment has made me feel like I'm now the Captain of my own life, steering it in whatever direction I so choose.  I no longer overly obsess about bad things that could possibly happen to me in the future. Unforeseen circumstances will inevitably befall everyone sooner or later.  If you're resolved that they are going to happen, then you will be prepared to handle them if and when they happen.

Turning forty for me was a very positive experience, and in essence spurred me to reinvent myself.  However, the whole experience made me realize that I don't want to lose myself either.  I've seen guys my age go to extremes, trying to pursue things that they think will make them happy with disastrous results.  Fortunately, my bride and kids keep me grounded and remind me that while helping myself to get the most out of life is important.. it's not all just about me. 

I didn't mean to get all deep on you, and I promise my next post will be a bit more fun and upbeat.  In the meantime, I leave you with the lyrics to an old Sophie Tucker song I feel is most appropriate to this post.  And no.. it's not her song The middle age mambo.

Life begins at forty - by Sophie Tucker

I've often heard it said and sung 
That life is sweetest when you're young
And kids, sixteen to twenty-one 
Think they're having all the fun
I disagree, I say it isn't so 
And I'm one gal who ought to know
I started young and I'm still going strong
But I've learned as I've gone along.......

That life begins at forty
That's when love and living start to become a gentle art
A woman who's been careful finds that's when she's in her prime
And a good man when he's forty knows just how to take his time

Conservative or sporty, it's not until you're forty
That you learn the how and why and the what and when
In the twenties and the thirties you want your love in large amounts
But after you reach forty, it's the quality that counts

Yes, life begins at forty
And I've just begun to live all over again

You see the sweetest things in life grow sweeter as the years roll on
Like the music from a violin that has been well played upon
And the sweetest smoke is from a mellow, broken and old pipe
And the sweetest tasting peach is one that's mature, round and ripe

In the twenties and the thirties you're just an amateur
But after you reach forty, that's when you become a connoisseur
Then it isn't grab and get it and a straight line for the door
You're not hasty, you're tasty, you enjoy things so much more

For instance, a novice gulps his brandy down, he doesn't understand
Observe a connoisseur, the way he holds it in his hand
How he strokes the glass, fondles it, warms it as he should
Smaks his lips, aahhh, slowly sips, hah, boy, it tastes good

Life begins at forty
Then it isn't hit and run and you find much more fun
You romance a girl of twenty and it costs you all your dough
But when a forty thanks you, she hates to see you go

And girls of twenty, all they want are big men
Big men with strong physiques
I don't say that it's bad
But you do get tired of those damn Greeks

Life begins at forty
And I'm just living all over again

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