“Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.” – Roger Babson
One of my favorite lines from the grossly underrated Steve Martin classic, LA Story, comes from Mr. Martin’s title character. When accused of romping around with a girl much too young for him, he replies, “She’s not so young. She’ll be 27 in four years.” Dry and underplayed, like so much of Steve Martin’s brilliant comedy, yet quite profound in its subtext.
I turned 34 this month and, as with each recent birthday, I played number games in my mind for the weeks preceding and postceding the anticlimactic date.
Half my life ago, I was 17. That one depressed me. Seventeen doesn’t seem so long ago until I add 17 to my current age and get 51. If seventeen feels like only a moment ago, then 51 is but a moment away. Right?
I’m half way to 68. For some reason, this one didn’t bother me as much as the previous. After all, while it doesn’t feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve been 17, it feels like eons since I’ve been… well, however old I was when I first harbored memories. Hence, 68 still feels eons away.
I’m 6 years from 40. Ouch. I was 28 six years ago. That seems like only yesterday. Logically, 40 will be here… tomorrow?
I went from Larry Bird to Walter Payton. What? Sports fan that I am, my mind often relates numbers to digits on an athlete’s jersey. Larry Bird, my favorite basketball player of all time, wore 33. Walter Payton, one of my favorite running backs of all time, wore 34. Pointless and trivial – that’s probably why it belongs in this blog.
Whatever number games I play with my own life calendar, I find being 34 matters little to me in the sense of chronology, but I don’t know how many more birthdays I can swallow before making that drastic career jump from “aspiring” to “established.” It’s gotta happen soon. Exactly what “it” is, is the tricky part. I know the abstract end goal, I just don’t know the tactile evidence that will assure I’ve “made it.” But that’s part of the excitement.
As much weight as I’m putting into my future, I need to be sure I’m utilizing my present to the fullest. At the end of the day, all that matters is that I’ve progressed instead of regressed. So far, so