You know how it is when you leave something for so long it starts to seem silly to bother doing it at all? That’s this blog and, to a lesser degree, my Fit for 40 goals.
Things are fine. Many things are even good. But I frequently feel uninspired. I feel like I have good ideas or interesting thoughts running around in my head but it is a challenge for me to bring them into reality. Or sometimes the reality turns out to be less interesting than the abstract concept was in my head. This is the case with the photo project I chose for last year.
I decided to do a 365 project but one with no requirements for actually taking a selfie everyday if I didn’t feel like it. It turned out to be a 312 project. I wanted to do it starting on my 40th birthday for a year because I wanted to see – and keep seeing – what a 40 year old woman looks like. Official middle age is a funny thing. Like so many people who have crossed into their 40s before me, I don’t feel old. And of course 40 isn’t old, I know that. But it is the end of youth. Does this matter? Of course not. At least, not in the grand scheme of living a good and examined life. And I certainly don’t think that being older is worse than being younger. But it is different, in some ways, and I am aware that I have started to see time differently and I fear the ever increasing speed with which it passes. I no longer feel that life stretches out indefinitely. I sense that there is an end to the road and, while (hopefully) that end is still some distance off, if there are things I want to do, I’d best get to it.
So with all of these sorts of thoughts rolling around in my head, I decided to document what 40 really looks like. For this reason, I took the photos in the same room each day, with the exception of a few shots when I was away from home. I also did not allow myself to perform any post-processing on the images to improve my skin or general appearance. Full disclosure: I sometimes adjusted the brightness of the images that were taken in the winter months because I felt they were too dark but I never made an effort to make myself look better by brushing out a zit or toning down the blue shade under my eyes. In doing this I had two goals: to try and see what I really look like most of the time and to get more comfortable with some of the aspects of my physical appearance that I’m not crazy about.
|Me, me and – oh wait, it’s me|
The funny thing is…… neither of these things happened. I don’t feel like anything has changed. I do feel like the resulting 312 images are a pretty good record of what was going on with my hair over the last year and I like how all of the images, when looked at collectively, show the passage of time in a minute way. So I like the result well-enough, it just didn’t achieve what I thought it might. But, in the effort of reporting back on my whole Fit for 40 thing, here’s what my year of being 40 looked like.