Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back To The Future

With less than a month to THE DAY, the countdown continues with the rapid speed of a flying Delorean. As the day draws nearer, I realize that very soon I will no longer be 30-something. As I bid farewell to my 30’s some of my friends have shared their thoughts with me on this oh so special time, and for the most part those who have crossed the 40 threshold, or who like me will do so this year, have done and do so with anticipation and excitement. A few friends have not been thrilled with being 40, and there are some who will be 40 this year who refuse to even think about it. Some comments that I have gotten are, “Turning 40 ain’t that bad, I’m looking forward to it, because 39 sucked and I plan to be awesome at 40”. While another said, “ I wish I could say that this decade will be fabulous, but I am still waiting and unsure.” And another commented, "What? me 40, no..never forever 39".

Regardless of how any of my friends feel about being or turning 40, each of us who are almost 40 or who are 40, or 40-plus have taken stock of our lives. We have traveled down the long road of memory lane, and have revisited our childhood dreams of who we wanted to be when we grew up. What have we done with our lives, are we the people we want to be, and are we living the life that we want?
For one friend whom I met 30 years ago, after taking stock of her life it seems that she has some regrets and disappointments. She compares her life today to the dreams that her parents had for her, and in doing so, she goes back in time to her years spent at Las Vegas High School. This trip down memory lane brings her much joy, but is also brings her great sadness as she remembers many of her childhood friends who are no longer with us, and who never made it to 40, or who just barley did so. This friend would like to hop into a Deleorean and go “Back To The Future” to high school when we were all still here alive and well, and full of youthful excitement about what the future held for us; nothing could stop us because the world was our oyster and we had it in the palms of our hands. High School was time that was full of promise, dreams, and goals. It was a time when it was cool to go to Friday night school football and basketball games, it was a time when the bigger the hair the more popular you were, and when there were two groups of music lovers; those who loved Michael Jackson and those who loved Prince. (I loved and still love Prince). Another friend is exactly where she thought and planned she would be; happily married and with children, 4 of them; a set of identical twin girls and then one of each, and she is at the top of her game in a career that she loves. She has no regrets, but has suffered a tremendous loss, but survived and lives a glorious life despite her loss. She is blessed, she knows it, and she counts her blessing daily.

Then there’s me, and as I take stock of my own life while traveling down memory lane, my life is not at all close to what I had planned for myself. I am not married, I have no children, and I am not a billionaire as I have yet to hit the lottery or hit the Mega-Millions jackpot. Still, my life is not an unhappy one, it has been full of good times and some not so good times. While none of us are able to hop into a Delorean and go back to the future, “turning 40” for me at least, suggests something exciting and full of adventure. The word “turning” suggests that a change is on the way or is in process; like a caterpillar to a butterfly. “Turning” also suggests that you have the power to “turn” anything. I can turn the page to a new chapter in my “Book of Life”. I can turn a corner with less trepidation now, as I have more experience and thus the ability to make better decisions, and this has given me the ability to move on from the bad things in my past.

Ahhh, a past…this is yet another concept that I have been introduced to. As I approach 40, I realize that I am now old enough to have a past. It also means that I am halfway through life, and so are you if you have reached the 40's. OMG…halfway through life, does this mean middle age? What will the next half of life be? My take is this, at 40 or in your 40’s, it doesn’t matter if you are married, never have married, have married and divorced, and did it again, it doesn’t matter how educated you are; Ivy League or UNLV, doesn’t matter if you have children, no children, or if you are a single parent…none if it matters…because the 40’s are wide open for us; we still have at least half a life to live, and we are still young enough to do anything we want.

I am determined to make 40 fabulous and it will be a powerful and pivotal age for me. As I see it the last almost 40 years have been about preparation for the next 40 years. As I will enter my 40’s I will view it as an amazing time in my life.

I have one final thought for this blog entry. If you could go back to the future, back to your high school and stand at the place that represents a part of your youth, ( LVHS Wildcats, the Senior Squares), and if you could look to the future and see what your life would be, and how it would end, I hope you that you would be able to view your life as summed up in the following quote.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ "WOO HOO, what a ride!"Author Unknown

In memory of some childhood school friends who never made it to 40 or who barely did so.

Tammy Cummings
Joey Saffioti
Carlos Allen
Joey Geisbauer
Henry Prendes
Aaron Hernandez
LaDonna Mathis Blake

I hope that each of you had at one time in your far too short of a life, a good ride, and that each of you had a few ~WOO HOO~ moments. RIP my childhood friends. May you live in eternity in His grace and protection.

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