A Pirate Looks At Forty

Thanks, Jimmy Buffett. Forty was actually a few years ago, but looking back, I think forty may be when things changed. It's been a long time since an age really affected me.

Driving at 16 may have been the biggest one--that freedom that comes with wheels, even when you manage to wreck those wheels a couple times (and they don't belong to you--Sorry Dad).

Drinking at 21 was some sort of milestone, but most people don't pay any attention to that one. What other age matters? Voting? Okay, that 18th birthday--legally recognized adult and voting and all... But who at 18 really cares about that. R-rated movies at 17? Nope.

But at 40 and ever since, I've noticed that in my head, I feel like the same kid that was giddy about my driver's license. Sure, things have been tempered with experience, but I'm still goofy. I'm still lost in the woods wondering where I'm supposed to be and aside from my family, who I'm supposed to be with. What am I supposed to be doing right now?

When things come up that are challenging, my first gut reaction is to find an adult...and then it hits me. Forty is when I look down at the pavement and see that same shadow that I've always seen...and it hasn't aged. Then I get in the car and adjust the rearview mirror and see that guy with the crow's feet and gray hair. Forty is when I watch a movie or listen to the radio and wonder why no one is making songs I like, or films that I haven't already seen a dozen times only with different faces. Forty is when your body starts to nudge you and say, "Hey pal, you aren't immortal after all."

Forty is when you look at the first half of your life and say, "Well, you've got about that much time to do all that stuff you should've done, and it's going to be more difficult, Buck-o. So work smarter, not harder."

So, here's to forty. Drink up, but in moderation. Smoke up, but you should probably quit or vape or something. Cheer up because you're still out there...and don't let anybody (even your own body) tell you you aren't immortal.

Who wants to live forever though? Do you know how many Mondays that would mean? How many taxes you'd pay...reruns you'd have to watch... If we've got to go, may as well go out rocking and rolling, filming, drawing, writing, reading, painting, sculpting, singing and dancing. The rest is just noise.

"Just an over-forty victim of fate, arriving too late... " ~James William Buffett

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