I suppose it’s all in how you look at things…

A sweat bee (Halictus farinosus) collecting pollen on a musk thistle (a.k.a. nodding thistle; Carduus nutans) as a cyclist rides by unaware (20080601_06090_ab)

I said to someone on Facebook a while back that the birthdays ending with a zero tend to be the most problematic, at least from a psychological standpoint.  Once you get beyond 20, which comes as a right of passage*, all the other zeroes come along like specters portending your demise, each of them declaring another decade of your life gone by and much less time left to live.  Each zero makes us feel like we’re older, getting older, older and moving toward ancient.

So as my fortieth birthday grew closer this year, I wondered what it meant I was leaving behind.  Yet reaching the big 4-0 began to lose its threatening demeanor with everything else that has happened since I turned 39 last December.

And now that the day is here, I realize my perspective on turning 40 has changed.  In truth, I’m ready to leave 39 behind me.  It kinda sucked.  Hitting forty today feels more like turning a page, hopefully to a new and better chapter.

Either a broad-tipped conehead (Neoconocephalus triops) or a round-tipped conehead (Neoconocephalus retusus) hanging on the front of my dad's farm truck

So I guess it all really is in how you look at things.  Perspective makes a world of difference.

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  1. A sweat bee (Halictus farinosus) pillages a musk thistle (a.k.a. nodding thistle; Carduus nutans) as the world passes by.
  2. Either a broad-tipped conehead (Neoconocephalus triops) or a round-tipped conehead (Neoconocephalus retusus) hangs on the front of my dad’s farm truck.  I didn’t get any photos that showed the details necessary to determine the exact species.

* Strictly speaking, it should be “rite of passage” in terms of turning 20 being a customary observance, but by “right of passage” I mean to refer to our tendency to feel we’re owed everything at that age, world be damned for thinking otherwise.

12 thoughts on “Perspective”

    1. Thank you, Swampy! If you’re wondering about the perfect gift, send me some of that snow you got goin’ on. Or at least post some more pics so I can enjoy it from afar.

      (BTW, expect an e-mail from me a bit later on the topic of “it’s a small world”…)

  1. Happy Birthday Jason. Speaking as one who hit forty a very long time ago, I can tell you that some of the best things that have happened in my life came after that significant birthday. Age brings a confidence that I never had much of when I was younger. Enjoy the wisdom that you’ve worked so hard to get! Big hugs!

    1. You’re a wise man indeed, Clive. Thank you! Notwithstanding abduction by aliens or ascending to a higher state of being in the near future, I plan to do quite a bit of living in the years to come. And just wait until you see the racing stripes I’m having painted on my walker. I’ll be the talk of the old folks home! 😉

    1. Thank you so much, C! You’re too kind.

      As for that katydid, it was an off-the-cuff shot as I walked by–basically a documentary shot since I was really hungry and it was time to eat–but the photo turned out to be pretty doggone cool. Not bad at all for a little pocket-sized P&S camera.

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