Looking Down the Barrel at 40 {Thoughts on Midlife, IRL and Blogging}

I am rapidly approaching my 40th birthday, and have only mere days left to enjoy what's left of my thirties. 

I am more baffled than any other emotion that our culture claims you should be filled with as you round the bend into the downward curve that the big Four-Oh has come to represent for our society.

That I am almost forty seems crazy, given that I'm once again back in the baby-on-my-hip stage of life and don't feel old; it boggles my mind to consider that I am now much closer to the age of eligibility for AARP (50) membership than I am to the age when I could legally buy beer (21).

What is so interesting about approaching this milestone birthday is that the road sign that reads "40" on my journey through this life just isn't casting the same long shadow or looming quite so large over me as I imagined it would when I was twenty-five and forty was a decade and a half away.


It's just another birthday, and just another number.

And I don't feel forty, whatever that is supposed to mean.  What is it supposed to feel like to feel forty?

I don't even really consider myself as being mid-life at this age although I'm sure a quick check of vital statistics and average lifespans would likely disagree with me.  My maternal grandmother lived to nearly the century mark and had her last child forty-five.  I suppose the "50" mile marker will be the one that gives me pause to consider The Real Meaning of My Life.*

Just as my own real life is hitting a big milestone this fall, so will this blog.  I've been scribbling on and off here since October of 2007, meaning that this oft-ignored-by-it's-owner blog will be five years old soon.

There have been times when I have toyed with completely pulling the plug on this little corner of the internet. Given that most blogs fail or trail off or just plain old disappear within the first six months or so, this blog is truly the old lady in the room of fresh-faced newcomers.  Add to that the fact that I am still running on Blogger (free!) rather than hosted WP and I'm not actively seeking to make a living off of blogging** and you've got yourself a real head-scratcher -

What am I doing here, anyways?

And here's the best thing about getting older and having a little perspective:

I don't have to have an 30-second elevator pitch answer to that question.

In fact, all I need to say in answer to that question is this: I like blogging.

I like all of the creative elements that go into blogging, from writing to designing to finding the perfect code hacks.  I like the feeling of having made something out of nothing.  I like having a place to collect my thoughts for my children to have as a legacy from their mom one day because I am most certainly an utter #FAIL at archiving their lives through baby books***, photo albums, or scrapbooking.  (Sorry kids, but just think of the FUN you'll have figuring out who the heck is this? and when the heck was this taken?? when you inherit my vast digital photo library after I'm gone.)

And as I look at the trajectory of the internet and see that while the written word still carries weight, the rise of The Picture online in our image-saturated world  (note Pinterest's explosive growth in the past two years) is rapidly overtaking good writing and thoughtful conversation, I can't help but want to continue blogging, continue writing, continue sharing in words what I think and what I know.

Yes, a picture says a thousand words.  I get it.  I like a good picture.

But I love, really and truly LOVE, a great story.

Here's to good stories, and to blogging them just.because.I.can.

Oh, and the big Four-Oh rolls around on September 16th, just so you know.  Or maybe it's the 17th.  But that's a story for another day....

* Actually, I already know this but am still a work in progress on applying that answer to every day of my life; see Baltimore Catechism, Lesson 1.6.  We're all pilgrims journeying through this world, peeps.

**Entirely possible? Yes.  Entirely time-consuming? YES.

***A dear friend gave me one after I had the baby in March.  God bless her - she has no idea how many of these sit half-filled in or simply unused on closet shelves or in storage containers in my home.