The 40-ness

Published by Wreybies in the blog Ponderings of a Pachyderm. Views: 109

Yes, yes.

I know.

No big deal.

Just a number.

An arbitrary point determined by arbitrary numbers of arbitrary choices in the arbitrary past. An artifact of the accumulation and recomposition of different systems, both new and old, systematic and arcane, of denoting the passing of time. I could just as easily be celebrating my forth decarev, or my seventh mammoth run, or my .000000000000725 galactic revolutions.

Regardless, by today’s reckoning I am three day’s away from my fortieth birthday.

I am reminded of my class in physical anthropology for which I was a teacher’s assistant for many semesters. I remember learning that the natural maximum human lifespan is actually only between fifty and fifty-five years. Hard to believe, right? Fifty years. When I say natural, I am talking about humans as they originally lived, prior to the advent of cultural aids like medicine, modern shelters, modern access to foods, modern concepts of hygiene. Humans, butt naked, on the plains of East Africa, without any kind of aid whatsoever are only designed to last fifty years, tops. Without all of the many, many, many things that culture has accumulated and allowed to continue forward via the magic of language and written communication, that is all we would get.

So, at forty, that would have made me, back in my hypothetical little tribe of wandering humans, the doddering old senior citizen. Maybe I might of been the shaman by this time, if I were smart enough. I would like to think that that might have been the case. Perhaps my tribe would have been secretly planning to move on in the night as I slept because they couldn’t remember the last time I had taken down my own gazelle.

Who knows.

I have just written and then deleted an entire passage referring back to exactly twenty years ago when I was about to turn twenty years old. The nostalgia wave nearly bowled me over and I had to stop typing.

So anyway. In a strange way I have sadness and feelings of… inadequacy? over where I am in my life. But the logical part of my brain is staring at the emotional part of brain with confusion as to why.

1) I am doing the job I wanted to do as a child. I am an interpreter. I LOVE languages. I find the entire phenomenon intensely fascinating.

2) I have a wonderful husband. He is funny, bright, interesting, and an absolute cutie-pie to boot.

3) I live and work on a tropical island. It is summer 365 days a year.

I guess I’m just being hormonal. *Shrug*
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