Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is This The Edge Or The Middle Of The Road?

"We should all start to live before we get too old.  Fear is stupid.  So are regrets." - Marilyn Monroe

Some how I turned 40.  I've been asked if it bothered me....and my answer was no.  Truth be told I half expected it to but it was just like any other day, except everybody made a big deal over me.  I am, however, the person who jumped out of a plane at 14,000ft free falling at over 100mph only to land and think that it was short of  any thrill factor.  I sit in the middle of the row when it comes to being excitable or up settable.  Since our kayaking venture in the mangroves one has arrived here for us to spend our summer on.  Its a tandem, which is a first for me but my 5th kayak to date...Velcro's 1st. When it arrived I realized, like I some times do, that I tend to do and have done more than most when it comes to adventurous and outdoorsy stuff...although it doesn't seem like living on the edge to me, just normal.  I rappelled a 100ft cliff...climbed the side of mountains trusting a rope a carabiner and someone I barely knew.  Free bouldered rocks relying only on my fingertips and toes and shear determination.  Saw 169ft of the Bimini Wall with thousands of feet of ocean below me.  Sat on the ocean floor taking pictures of sharks being fed just feet away from me.  Para sailed...did a body building competition...fished 60 miles from shore when I couldn't even guess which way land was....and now ride my own motorcycle only to be highly annoyed when I cross a state line and am forced to wear a helmet.  I guess its no surprise that I bore easily and have a tough time sitting still.

For my birthday Velcro took me back to the Keys.  We kayaked the mangroves again and he actually let me chase a crocodile until we were right beside it...so close that I couldn't paddle that side of the boat without wacking it.  It was a little guy which is probably the only reason he let me get us so close but awesome none the less.  I've mentioned before that the only form of history I give a shit about at all is that of the Keys, which leads one to think (one being me)I may have been there in a previous life...or something.  Some where in my early 20's I learned of the Atocha, the Spanish galleon treasure ship that sank somewhere between Marquesas and the Dry Tortugas in a hurricane in 1622.  If you don't know the story it was found by Mel Fisher's dive team in the 80's after he spent the better part of 20 years looking for it.  I can talk forever about such things and as easy to ignore as one of these rambling stories of mine could be, some months and months ago I told Velcro that I had always wanted a coin made from the silver they found on that wreck.  My unexcitable zen white peaceful self jumped up and down and squealed when my little birthday box was opened to my very own Atocha coin.  

My early 20's were spent diving and traveling and in general spending way more money than I made but living like there was no tomorrow.  Somewhere in my late 20's I got all serious about work and started taking all the things that don't matter way too seriously.  Accumulating stuff and in turn relating that to being successful. My early 30's brought on marriage and houses and cars and vacation homes and more and more stuff.  So much stuff that I never imagined being able to walk away from it.  But at 34 I did.  Still not done with trying to have stuff I bought another house and furnished it all the way.  Three and half weeks before my 35th birthday I watched a good man die before he was done living...and you know what all I've done since then.  Now at 40, I find myself having reverted back to my early 20's where material possessions mean nothing and I have little clue as to what I want to be when I grow up. These days our lives are planned around sunny days, tide charts, motorcycles, kayaks, boats, the balcony and trips to Florida.

Happiness is having something to look forward to and some one to take along for the ride...Yep, think I've got it covered.