So today, I am 40 years of age. It is a bit surreal because my perception of time makes me feel like it wasn’t that long ago that I was getting my Master’s degree or getting married. But those were a decade ago or longer. Undergrad is even further in the past. From today to when I was born is a longer amount of time than when Marty McFly traveled in Back to the Future. I’ve begun to use Back to the Future to gauge how old things from my past are. For instance, if the film was made today using the present (2021) and traveling back 30 years, Marty would have gone to 1991. Now, I think about my perception of how long ago 1955 was as a kid in the late 80s watching the film over and over again, and that felt like such a bygone era. Meanwhile, I have vivid memories of the 1990s, and it doesn’t feel like something as “old” as the 1950s.
Here’s the Spotify list for my birthday. Many of these songs are something that ties to a moment in my life.
This contemplation of time has led me to wonder how people must perceive time in their 70s, 80s, and older. Days feel like they are moving along at a very steady pace. I just can’t imagine how compressed it will feel when I am a senior. I wonder if, at some point, it feels like days pass in the blink of an eye, and you just keep getting older with the world around you. I can see some pluses for that, not having to endure the pain of physical deterioration for what feels like very long and not having to feel the loss of someone you love for too long after they pass.
When I look back on my 30s, I realize the theme for that decade was all about my relationship with my wife. I turned 30 in June 2011, and we were married in July. Having worked through challenges and learned how to function as part of a pair, I am better prepared for the significant changes on our horizon in a way that scared me for a long time. I’ve learned to have a healthier relationship with money because of her, so I don’t feel terrified when we have to spend on an emergency. My 30s were also the decade of being a public school teacher in Tennessee. I can look back and see how I improved as a teacher by leaps and bounds. I know teaching will continue to be a part of whatever I do, but I don’t think teaching in Tennessee in my 40s will be something that happens.
I feel more comfortable in my skin now than I did for a long time. I think it’s true that age often gives us a perspective we lacked when we’re young. It tracks: you live more life, you learn more things, or you should. I am proud to say I have never given in to that cliche of an older person looking down on someone because they are young. I feel disappointed in my generation for not stopping this train from going off the rails. I listen closely to what young people are saying about this situation, and I feel more confident about salvaging some semblance of society after things reach the zenith. I cannot see myself becoming someone who closes themselves off to new ways of thinking & perspectives; I will certainly do all I can to not become like that.
With life expectancy globally being around 73, I am likely a little more than halfway through my life. I have no idea what the next half will be. I have some idea of how I’d like them to go, but I also acknowledge I have only some control over that situation. My main goal is to be happy in my life alongside my wife. That’s it. I am uninterested in being wealthy; I just want what I need and leisure time to enjoy life. The first forty years have been a lot of ups and downs. I will focus on making the next forty as good as possible.
I decided that for July & August, I will be looking at those months as a single block. So when the digest for that period is posted as Summer 2021. I might not fill the calendar like I would for a typical summer month with moving happening over those months. I also needed a little break from the preplanned movie series, so I have gone over the Best of 2021 So Far lists and will be catching up on some new movies that sound like they are good ones. I’ll be delivering the second half of my Crisis on Infinite Earths reviews and of course continuing the podcast. Look out for mini-episodes to come between the full-length ones. Patreon will be where special monthly podcasts are going up that review some movies related to things coming out each month.