You know, after my 30th birthday, I kind of stopped paying attention to my age. I literally would have to count it up if someone asked. But now that I'm heading to 40, I'm paying attention more since that's the next milestone of sorts.
I mostly like being the age that I am. The only big downside is that my body doesn't seem to cooperate. My hair keeps migrating away from my head to other places, I get a strange rash on my foot sometimes, and eating well is harder than ever. Mechanical reliability aside, it's a pretty neat age to be.
It seems like people take you more seriously. Well, actually, it might be because of my life experience, and not my age. But there's certainly a correlation between age and experience, so they are kind of connected. (Does this mean stupid people my age don't have experiences, or they just don't learn anything?) There's actually a certain confidence that comes with experience, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. I have to remind myself what I've seen and done in the last 15 years, and use it.
It's also a pretty good time to be a parent. I just can't imagine starting a family ten years ago. I was not well equipped for life at that age, let alone for another life. Again, experience comes into play. You've seen enough examples of over/under/crappy parenting to know what you don't want for your kid, that's for sure.
I find it funny how I used to think that some of the volleyball kids had hot moms, all around the age of 40, when I started coaching. Now, I'm married to one. Funny how that turned out. Knowing what I do now about relationships and how to do your best to function in one is a valuable skill acquired with age as well. If there's anything good to come out of dating "for the first time" in your 30's, it's that you hopefully have a better picture of what makes sense. This is an ongoing win for me that began in 2007, and what a difference it makes from the miserable struggles I had in my college years.
If I were to really pick any one particular thing that I like about being 38, it's that age truly is a state of mind, and I'm very aware of that. I still feel like I'm younger than I actually am, while some of the people I know around my age seem so ancient by comparison. It all comes down to how you feel. The experience and maturity that comes with age has surprisingly not turned me into a jaded, apathetic bastard (yet). I haven't been compelled to have any midlife crises yet, although I wouldn't rule out a tattoo or more piercings. I'm not even sure about what I want to be when I grow up, but at this point, I'm surprisingly comfortable with that.
So 40 is another year closer, and for now I'm not bothered by that. Diana already passed it, and look at how awesome she is. I mean, she birthed a child. I'll never have to do anything that hard, so I think I'm good. I just need to take better care of my container.