Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Realizing That I Am Just A Mere Mortal

"It Was A Very Good Year"
by Frank Sinatra

But now the days are short, I'm in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year

I find myself facing my own mortality these days.

I'm not sure when it started to happen. Perhaps, it has to do with turning 42 last month or celebrating my 13 year wedding anniversary last week. But it seems like just yesterday that I was graduating from college, moving to Los Angeles, getting married, and having a kid. Today, I feel like I'm closer to 50 than 30. Uh, well...I guess that part is true.

The funny thing is that I still feel like I am 30-something. This is not a new topic for me and I have blogged about it recently. [See "Can 40 Be The New 30" from May 6, 2011.] This post, however, is not so much about my physical state of being, but more about my mental state.

Now that I am older, I have finally realized that I have a lot to lose. I am at a pinnacle where I truly understand all the wonderful and amazing things with which I have been blessed. And, I feel that I am in the perfect state to enjoy them, but I still find myself worrying.

When I was younger, I was known to be carefree and a daredevil. Although Jason will argue that I have always been a “Nervous Nelly,” but this wasn't always the case. If someone asked me to jump off the Manhattan Beach Pier naked (Jason?), I might just do it.

Oh yeah, I've already done that.

But to support Jason's nay saying, I've never been one to feel at ease with animals that are larger than me and I do have an irrational fear of the Pacific Ocean. So, even though I have been forced to horseback ride a gazillion times with my mom and ocean kayak, I was certainly out of my comfort zone.

Give me a big roller coaster with G force any day of the week and I will not quake with fear.

Example: I always used to love to fly, and never even gave it a second thought. Today, I am just a hair shy of being one of those people who “hates” to fly. (Although, it could be partially due to the time our plane almost went down in the Atlantic off Miami but, we lived to tell the tale, so it doesn't really count.)

Mostly my paranoia prevails during the plane's take-off. As we gain altitude, I hold my breath listening to all those rattles and bangs. If I am at a window seat, I look out the window and wonder what it would be like to free-fall to the earth. Would I pass out on the way down or would I be awake for the impact?

Yet, once we are up in the air, I'm okey dokey until the landing. But I always feel comforted knowing that if we do crash on touch down, at least we are near the airport and rescue crews can get to us right away if it was necessary.

Truthfully, my fear isn't all that outrageous. If you follow my blog, you know that I lost my Nana and Pop Pop this year. I have experienced the loss of loved ones before, but these really hit me hard.

As time goes by, the pain – like a knife in the gut – is getting a little bit less; but it has made me realize that I need to appreciate each day.

Life is short and, the older you get, it's just not as easy to enjoy all of life's experiences.

Just to clarify, I don't have any grand disillusions that I should create my bucket list. This is more of a pep talk to help me realize that I need to look at the bucket half full and not half empty.

Here is where all those wonderful Buddhist philosophies come into play. Yes, it is extremely cliché to say, “Live in the moment;” But I can't think of any better advice to give myself.

I have to squash all those silly fears and remind myself that I can not control my fate.

It is not so much about facing my mortality as realizing that it is time enjoy every moment. To push aside fears and to simply be aware of the incredible gift that I have been given.

I choose to be happy, positive, and not worry about the things in my life that I have no control over.

Yes, not only is this summer coming to an end, but the summer of my life seems to quickly be fading to Autumn, but I am prepared to enjoy every sweet second of it.

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