This is 40

Hey folks, it finally happened. I finally crossed the point of no return.

The hill…

As of today, I have officially made it over the crest of the hill and have begun the fast descent down it. I guess with that metaphor, it should at least mean things are a whole lot easier from here on out, right?

If I’m being honest here, I had always seen the one possibly good thing about making it for this long on the planet is that I assumed you would finally achieve some level of guru-level enlightenment on what this whole thing called life is all about.

Like, what is happiness? For as long as I can remember, the only thing I really wanted out of life was to be happy. This was probably one of the earliest indicators of my struggles with depression, but regardless, I never considered fame and fortune important for my life. I just wanted to be happy.

And am I?

I definitely have plenty of happy moments, but life is a struggle, right? Even for those of us who have been blessed enough with a relatively comfortable existence, the human brain just wants us to continue to believe that something is amiss, that something could be better, that the grass is greener on the other side of the hill. And now that I’m on the other side of the hill…well, look, grass is a heckuva lot of work.

I’ve got bald patches all throughout my grass that I can’t seem to correct. And discoloration. And weeds. A heckuva lot of weeds.

And since I’m now stuck on this grass metaphor…my neighbor’s grass is gorgeous, but I also know he puts all sorts of chemicals all over it and I’ve seen him and his wife both mowing the same yard at the same time just a few hours after their hired guns came through and did the work. Their grass is fake. It’s the smiles in a Christmas card. Sure, I want it, but I’m also not entirely sure his grass is real.

My grass is definitely real. I know, because I watch it manage to grow everywhere except where I want it to. There’s grass all over the cracks in my driveway and in my garden beds, and there’s even some that manages to grow in the dirt on my deck from time to time. But, the big dead patch the dog likes to run through, no grass…

Similarly, my happiness is, well, it’s pretty good. It’s enough where I think people can see my happiness, just like people can see my grass. And it’s real. I don’t want to hide reality from you guys, because I love you. And the true story is that happiness is an emotion, not a place to be. You can’t live forever in happiness, no matter how awesome that might seem, because happiness is, in many ways, the absence of unhappiness.

So yeah, I’m happy.

And I’m forty.

And my grass might not be the greenest, but it’s still there.

And this metaphor was really all over the place. I guess the real thing I should be concerned about now that I’ve made it this long is that dementia is a very real threat in my blood line…

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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