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Happy Birthday to Me … and Here’s to What’s Next

7 Jun

Photo credit: Diapicard / Pixabay

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning the other day, just like I do every weekend, and there was a great segment about three Hollywood comedy legends: Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, and Norman Lear.

Towards the end of the interview, Lear and Reiner shared their perspectives on the secret to a long and happy life.

“I think there are two little words we don’t think enough about: ‘over’ and ‘next,’” Lear said. “When something is over, it’s over. We’re on to next. I mean, this is the moment.”

Then Reiner added: “If you have something to get up for, you’ll get up. You won’t die in the middle of the night if you have something in the morning you gotta do.”

These were good sentiments to hear a few days before my birthday — and not just because they helped inspire this blog post. Continue reading

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I’m 42, and I Have No Idea What That Really Means

7 Jun

42 candlesAs you get older, you start to ask the big questions. Like, for example, what is the meaning of life?

So here’s a fun fact.

If you ask the Google machine what the answer to life, the universe, and everything is, the answer you get is 42.

That’s right, forty-two. Continue reading

Another Year, Another Loop Around the Trail of Life

7 Jun
chestnut-hill-reservoir

(Photo credit: Martin Lieberman)

Yesterday, soon after I woke up, I laced up my sneakers, strapped on my armband, cranked up some good tunes, and dragged my largely out-of-shape body to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, partly to “train” for this week’s Corporate Challenge (which I signed up for kind of as a goof, but now actually have to do), partly to work off some of the crap I’ve been eating lately, and partly because — well, did I really need a reason?

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t an easy go at first. I jogged some of the way there, then after a few stretches, started jogging around the 1.5-mile-long trail. Then I slowed to a power walk, and eventually just walked.

Three quarters of the way around my counter-clockwise loop, even though I had walked nearly all of it, I thought to myself, “That’s it. I’m done. Maybe I’ll just do one today. Maybe I’ll come back and do another one later today after I’ve rested. Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow.” I was trying to talk myself out of continuing.

But a funny thing happened as I neared the starting point on the Boston College side: I decided I could probably — and should definitely — do another. So I pushed myself to begin another loop around. Continue reading

A Letter to Myself on My 40th Birthday

7 Jun

Young Martin LiebermanDear Martin,

Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday you were skydiving to celebrate your 30th birthday. Now it’s 10 years later and you’re 40 years old.

Wait a second. You’re 40? How are you 40? You don’t look 40. You don’t act 40. You’re still single. You have no kids. You still tell and laugh at the same juvenile jokes. You still eat Lucky Charms for breakfast (sometimes, anyway). And hell, you still watch the Real World/Road Rules Challenge every week on MTV. (Ahem, you have a season pass set on the DVR.) The fact that you’re 40 just doesn’t seem right.

Are you sure that’s how old you are? And if it’s true, then why doesn’t it seem to faze you?

Continue reading

40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part Two

6 Jun

reflectionWhenever you hit a milestone in life, it’s only natural to reflect on what’s come before and pick out the takeaways you want to bring with you as you move forward.

I guess that’s my clunky, long-winded way of saying my 40th birthday (it’s tomorrow; maybe you’ve heard me mention something about it?) has resulted in me doing a bit of soul searching and reflection.

Last week, I shared the first 20 in my list of 40 things I’ve learned in my first 40 years of living. Today it’s time to share the second half of the list. (Unranked, just for the record.)

Sure, I’m no Navy Seal. But we all have our life lessons. These are some of mine. Continue reading

40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part One

30 May

paper and pencilSpend enough time doing something, and you’re bound to learn a few things along the way.

Such is the case with life.

Over the past 40 years, as I’ve lived a life full of ups and downs, I’ve learned many, many, many things. Some, of course, are the obvious ones: How to walk, talk, drive, cook, and write with decent grammatical ability.

But there are other things I’ve learned — important lessons that I hope will stick with me as I enter my 41st year. Many of these weren’t easy to learn, and some haven’t quite sunk in yet.

Regardless, I thought I’d put together a list of 40 lessons learned from 40 years of living. Here, with one week left till my actual birthday, are the first 20. Enjoy. Continue reading

My 40th Birthday Is Coming, and What I Want for a Gift May Surprise You

20 May

birthday gift boxA friend of mine recently suggested that for my 40th birthday (which, believe it or not, is less than three weeks away), I should be able to register for gifts.

After all, she reminded me, I’m single. And over the years I’ve spent so much on other people when they got married and/or had kids.

She had a point.

In fact, a few years ago, I did actually wonder — facetiously — when am I going to get mine?

So, I started to think. If I could, what would I register for?

Continue reading