Sunday, March 17, 2013
Reflections on 40
I went down to Bermondsey, south of the Thames, yesterday to see Judd Apatow's latest movie, "This is 40." Apparently it has come and gone from nearly every other London theater -- the only one I could find with an afternoon show was in Bermondsey. It gave me a good excuse for a quick photography walk in another neighborhood. Not that I ever need an excuse.
I didn't have a whole lot of time, though, and besides, it was raining. So after about half an hour I retreated into the theater and saw the movie, which I liked -- parts of it made me laugh out loud -- but which also seemed ultimately a bit long. Maybe that's because I didn't have much stress over turning 40. As a milestone, it really didn't faze me at all.
The movie did make me appreciate that I've kept my life simple. The couple in the film are about to lose their big house, the guy has started a record company that's floundering, they have two kids and an unexpected third on the way, the woman has a struggling shop that's mysteriously losing thousands through possible employee theft. I was sitting there thinking, "Wow, how great is it not dealing with any of that?!" I may have some struggling ambitions and a rambunctious dog, but my life with Dave is gravy by comparison.
Every time I think of taking a big step like going to graduate school or opening a photo gallery, I think, "Is it worth the risk? Is it worth the debt?" And the answer is always no. For better or worse, I am extremely averse to debt and risk, and usually decide that it's best to enjoy what I have. Does that keep me from moving forward? I don't think so -- I think it's far more likely I would just lose my shirt!
The important thing is to feel like I'm still growing, and for now, at 46, I do.
(Photo: The Time and Talents Settlement building in Bermondsey, a historically listed building that once housed an organization to benefit working women and girls.)