Stop Counting

First step is birth and then to walk, to lose the nappies and the bottles,
Then the double figures. Teenager is the next stop and then to sweet sixteen.
Almost an adult, almost done with school, almost out in the big wide world.
Eighteen and I’m done. No longer child, but not yet fully fledged adult.
Twenty-one and I’m on my own. My life and decisions of my future mine.
No external input at all necessary.
The counting goes now to the numbers ending in zero.
At thirty we take stock, see what we’ve done and more that we can do.
And now I’m forty and this is where they say my life begins.
I’m told the years before were the teaching times, all to be applied from now.

The things I’m seeing at this new beginning of my life are interesting.
It’s when the doctor starts to ask of any changes in your monthly cycle.
And other than the summer heat wave, have you gained central heating of your own?
It’s when your kids refer more often than before, that you are now in the class of old
And having babies is most often something of the past.
It’s when the doctor starts to prod and poke a man, where he wishes to be left alone.
And unwanted softer feelings rise with their levels of non-male body chemicals.
It’s when the importance of opinion fades a little, or totally falls away.
And life altering decisions sometimes become easier to make.
Because the time left is now suddenly not feeling like so much.
Not that we ever truly knew from the start how long we had.

It’s not at all what I expected it to be.
I wasn’t suddenly different, more confident or had an ordered, sorted life.
The changes are more subtle and more slow, learning to walk all over again.
It’s back to baby steps and a few tumbles along the way.
Other than the wrinkles and the body aches, I still wait to feel my maturity,
That I now have some wisdom from my time on this earth globe.
Wisdom to be more wise and more selfish in my life,
To learn to live that life and suck it dry of all it offers,
To leave behind a legacy or not. But to die not with regret for all I did not do,
For time I wasted, squandered and delayed.
I’m trying not to count my way to fifty this time around.
Rather live now, this second of time that I am guaranteed of.

So forty is but another number. Nothing special, nor earth shattering.
So if you haven’t got there yet, stop counting so furiously ‘til you do
And arrive at the place and age that you are now at.
For this today and now is where your life begins,
Not a number seen as possibly half your final age.
For that is not a known nor certain thing.
And should you need some wisdom that you feel you lack
The world holds many wise and wonderful aged,
Willing and able to share their stories and their learnings with anyone
Willing to listen but even if for only just a moment,
To make them feel of use and have something to contribute.
Age is but a tally of the years that you’ve been given to this date.
Use every moment and each breath to live not just exist.

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