Lists, Lies & More Damn Lists...
It's said that Victor Hugo called the 40s “the old age of youth.” I've found that the modern 40s are so busy it’s very hard to properly assess them. I've read that researchers describe these years as “the rush hour of life". These are the years when career and child-rearing collide. I've seen that head-on collision first hand and its fairly ugly. While I once considered myself an organized person, my to do lists have become so vast and varied that they are overwhelming and often misplaced.
It takes a peanut to kill a village...
As I'm well into my 40s now, I have had to make amends with the concept of decline. A decade ago, I could juggle my work and personal commitments at impressive speeds. In my 30s I had dreams of growing one more finger digit and taking over the world of computer design. I was becoming a new kind of human: Homo Impressive Multitaskus. Ten years later, I have to concentrate very hard on making a sandwich. With one wrong condiment I could kill my kid's entire class... At least that's how it was presented to me by my wife early in the school year. ("In Canada, guns don't kill children. Peanuts kill children!") To keep that kind of thing top of mind, something had to give. It was probably your project or proposal.
"In my 30s I had dreams of growing one more finger on each hand and taking over the world of computer design. I felt I was becoming a new kind of human: Homo Impressive Multitaskus. Ten years later, I have to concentrate very hard on making a sandwich."
But...Where The Hell Was I?
Oh yes...decline. The once certainty that I would one day write a stunning piece of literary fiction has been replaced with a more probable likelihood that I will never find my reading glasses, or my wedding ring. (Both lost somewhere in the kerfuffle of a ridiculously fast paced life.) Just as I know I will also never learn to cook meat with a thermometer or properly twist-tie a bread bag, I also know I will never be a recognized fiction writer — unless I get jail time. At best, I might write short online articles with upbeat titles like "Eyeballing & Shortcuts: Two Words That Made This Husband A Hero!" or "The Slow Cooker: At first you'll be intrigued. Then you'll be blown away!" There are just too many characters and narratives going on in my life to create a plausible fictional plot.
I've learned that your 40s are really the 'Palmolive Years'. You can't believe you're soaking in them, but my-my, they sure clarify and clean-up all those lies you told an earlier version of yourself.