So I’ve been in a moderately quiet period again and haven’t made any mention here of the fact that today — well, now yesterday — was my birthday. A few other people have mentioned it, both in LiveJournal and elsewhere; thank you all.
I also haven’t mentioned that it’s not just a birthday, but my 40th birthday. I can’t help but wonder if my recent bouts of ennui don’t stem from this. You can say it’s an arbitrary milestone — I’ve told myself that more than once — but of course, it isn’t entirely arbitrary; it’s a conveniently rounded midpoint of one’s average life expectancy. They’re called “mid-life crises” for a reason. As I wrote to a friend earlier today:
Part of me is wondering if there are big existential questions of the “how come you’ve apparently accomplished so little by 40” variety here. At 30, it seemed like everything was moving forward. I had what seemed to be a pretty stable high-paying job, had my own apartment, was floundering toward savings, was contemplating looking into home ownership within a few years. But it didn’t stay together, and I spent most of the last five years trying to get back to that point. I’m still not really there.
There are people my age who have kids in high school now. It’s not just a road not taken, it’s a road that somehow I never actually saw. I know a fair number of other people in similar boats, with varying degrees of comfort levels at how they arrived there. My own comfort level varies a lot. I’m feeling like I’m approaching another turning point, but I’m not quite sure what it is.
So today has been something of an emotional roller-coaster, nearly all of it internal, going from a “meh” morning to a reasonably good lunchtime to a downright depressed and headachy and kind of panicky afternoon to a very good dinner out with friends (thanks to tugrik) to a somewhat thoughtful and quiet evening (tempered by the return of the headache). I can’t really say it’s been a bad birthday, but it’s been an unsettled one.
I’ll try to write a couple less navel-gazing posts in the near future, although I may have one or two more of those to get out of my system. (Part of the panic of earlier today is realizing that I may have no medical insurance active for a physical that I’m supposed to get next week, related lab work I should get this week and the possibility of, well, unrelated things I may need to get checked out. I am hoping a phone call tomorrow will illuminate this all, though.)
Oh, yes: I should mention, yes, I felt the earthquake — it happened at dinner. This isn’t the first earthquake I’ve supposedly been through out here, but this is the first one that was a real quake experience. Not particularly scary, just, “Oh, so that’s what this feels like.”