I've seen a movement starting among my buddies lately, and it's something extremely cool: Folks in their late 30's to mid-40s set are busting out in a big way. Here's a brief wrapup of what my posse is doing:
* Travelling to India and learning to cook the cuisine back at home -- no easy task.
* Losing weight (17 pounds so far! in three months!), adopting an almost completely new and healthy dietary lifestyle, and running a 5K next week. I'll give you a hint who this is, too: First name "The." Last name "Dude." I'm jealous.
*Starting a film production company with a glorious documentary idea. (Another hint here: City. Mom.)
* Taking serious tennis lessons. Finally exercising regularly and training for a marathon. (This is a husband-and-wife team.)
* Adopting a child of another race.
*Taking fascinating courses at One Day University (no credits, no grades) - just to learn something new.
*Falling in love, the sweepingly romantic and overwhelming kind, and moving to Cleveland.
*Starting a smashingly successful travel site with a good idea, one partner and relentless hard work.
*Finally trying oysters. (This was my mother. Not quite the age group for this piece, but still -- way to go, Mom.)
For many folks, reaching middle age used to trigger a so-called crisis. Either that's changed, or we are learning to funnel our fears of old age into more productive outlets. Or there are just too damn many choices these days, so it takes us decades to figure out who we really are and what we want. Or we're so old nothing scares us anymore.
Me, well, I adopted two cats. Uh, finished my basement. Gave up coffee. These count but for a little. Am dealing with middle-aged things like parental illness, wills and homeowners' insurance. But I draw inspiration from all of you. I'm readying myself for the Big Leap.
I keep thinking of my roommate way back, a medical student, who had a 42-year-old classmate. That's apparently not unusual; a search easily uncovers tales of med students in their 50's.
Photo: Gordon Donovan