In 13 days I will supposedly stand at the peak of my chronological life.  In 14 days I will turn 40 and officially be over the hill.  I think I may have started some of my over the hill activities early.  In the past 20 – 25 months I have pulled a hamstring playing football (for the first time in my life), been prescribed cholesterol meds, began taking fish oil, and started going regularly to a chiropractor.  I already have this weird thing about wanting to eat dinner early – what’s that about?  Yet, I have heard from some that life is not so bad over the hill.  I have heard from others that it is horrendous.  Two weeks away from death valley, I can’t quite see the other side, but I can hear the echoes in the distance.  
That said, below is sort of my mix tape of fears, hopes, aspirations, and questions about the down hill side of life.
  1. I wonder about bi-focals.  I have heard that after 40 your vision changes making bi-focals necessary.  When you wear your bi-focals do you look down to see up close and look up to see far away or is it visa-versa?  Whose job is it to let me know which way to look?  Either way, it sounds dangerous.  Will bi-focals make me look like an idiot when I try to catch a ball?  Will I begin to dodge objects that are actually 1/4 mile away from me?  If I put 3-D glasses over my bi-focals – what happens then?  
  2. I wonder about my post-40 sox.  For years I’ve noticed that men in mid-life seem to no longer progress with their sox.  I guess black mid-calf sox were cool in ’45 because I have seen older men wearing them for years.  And it doesn’t matter what shoes they have on that day.  I’ve seen black sox with flip-flops, white Nikes, and with brown boat shoes.  For my generation the evolution of the sock has been 80’s knee high/tri-stripe, 90’s knee high/no stripe/but push ‘em down (very cool), 2000’s ankle sock.  I struggle with the 2000‘s ankle sock because my lower calf and ankle are almost non-existent.  From the knee down my shins and feet look like a pencil stuck in a baked potato.  I’m sort of glad we are getting over ankle sox, but I see trouble.  Now the ’10’s are bringing us back to what I would consider old man, black, mid-calf sox with everything.  I can’t do this!  For 39.75 years I have been laughing at old men in shorts and black sox.  But apparently going back to the 90‘s push down method, with which I am very comfortable – THIS MAKES ME LOOK LIKE AN OLD MAN!!!  Late this past spring I had two of my 9th grade students laugh at me in the same way I have been laughing at old men in sox for years.  This is a crisis year for me.  I’m going to have to make a choice and stick with it.  WHAT AM I TO DO WITH MY SOX?
  3. Is it prostate or prostrate?  One apparently I have.  One apparently describes reverent posture.  Either way, I hear I will need to make an appointment in which both uncomfortably collide.  I am with Rick Burgess from the Rick and Bubba Show on this one.  We can send a man to the moon, we can take pictures of deep space, but after 40 I’m going to have to go to the doctor and let him . . . . well, you know.  We have about two weeks left to make a serious technological advancement here!  Come on NASA – help an almost 40 brother out!  Show my doctor how to take some serious pictures and keep his hands to himself!!!!
  4. What will become of my hair?  Will my hair turn grey or turn loose?  For almost 40 years I have had plenty of hair options.  I can go long or short with relative ease.  I know in some respects I have appeared to have a receding hairline for most of my life, but this is not the case.  I was born a cone head and never recovered.  I have a gigantic forehead.  I can’t help it.  But now I have this “spot” off front left.  I can’t figure out if its a late blooming cow-lick or if I have a thin spot.  If that’s the case why am I the guy who will NOT gently go through male pattern baldness?  Why will I be the first guy in human history to go bald-front-stage-left?  By 50 will I have a nice thick right coat and a bald left?  Is it time for me to go Pat Riley?  Do I need to start growing out my right side?  If black sox are making a comeback maybe 2020 will be the decade of the comb-over.
  5. What will I do for my mid-life crisis?  A few months ago I bought a 2001 Chevy pickup truck.  As far as vehicles go, I am good with old man.  But I’ve got to do something.  Will I get a tattoo of a dragon on my back or maybe a stud for my belly button?  Will I start collecting something weird like Pez dispensers, license plates, or back scratchers?  Will I start buying odd things that help me relax?  My wife has already bought me this strange metal thing that feels awesome when you rub it on your head.  Will I start wearing copper bracelets?  Will I suddenly take interest in working with wood?  Will I buy a Harley and join a gang of grey-hairs?  Will I spend way too much time with the bird dog I’m going to buy at 41?  Will I start taking pictures of nature?  Will I suddenly begin to enjoy watching birds?  It’s hard to tell.  I’m afraid of heights so jumping out of an airplane or hang gliding are out.  Whatever my mid-life crisis will bring I hear that its expensive and it usually ends with counseling.  If I have to go to the doctor a lot about this prostate/prostrate thing I can see why men need counseling after 40.  Whatever the case, I better start saving some money. 
I hope post-40 goes well.  I sure have enjoyed years 0-39.  For the next 14 days I’ll enjoy the end of the climb.  Who knows, maybe life will be even more fulfilling on the downhill side.

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