Dishing biological deadlines with Emily Clanton – Age is Just a Number

Today on the Age is Just a Number blog series, I’m very pleased to welcome Emily Clanton, Social Media Manager for Booktrope and self-proclaimed “social media geek.” Emily works tirelessly to promote Booktrope authors and so I am thrilled to turn the spotlight on her. Emily talks, not about a specific age, but about those pesky biological deadlines.

Biological Deadlines and the Future

As I cruise along in the summer time of my life, I really can’t say that I have a particular age that I’m afraid of reaching. I know. It seems a bit counter-intuitive for a lady (who had a birthday at the beginning of the month) to write something like that, but it’s true. Instead the source of my apprehension is reconciling the idea of hard biological deadlines that conflict with my chronological life plan.

Growing up as the eldest child in my family I wasn’t allowed to do very much. Even when I was old enough to get a job and save money for things like concert tickets, I wasn’t allowed to go. So, for me, college was when I was really able to hone my skills of goal setting and working to achieve these goals. For example, I graduated debt-free with a degree in art, and I had a job in Japan lined up within a few months of graduation.

Once I began to mentally sketch out plans for the end of my 20’s and into my 30’s, however, I stumbled into an issue that I had never seriously considered before: having children.

After hearing it described by friends, I don’t think this is my biological clock doing the thinking – at least, not yet. But the abstract idea of a baby isn’t far from my mind these days. When my husband and I discuss the house we want in the near future, it has to have enough space for our creative passions – visual art and music – as well as room for kids. Thinking about turning my art into a business, I mentally bullet list how much time I would need to carve out of a day away from the demands of these youngins who don’t even exist yet!

Human beings can do just about anything that they set their minds to at almost any age. Just as you can skydive at 90, you could play beautiful violin music at 10. That’s why my stomach hurts just a little bit when I think about the future. I know my husband and I are problem solvers and will figure things out when the time comes, but, in the meantime, having this unseen biological checkered flag flapping somewhere in the distance is more than a little stressful. Thank goodness for books, Dr. Mario on the Wii, and white wine!

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Emily is a book-loving social media geek and creative type based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the Social Media Manager for Booktrope and oversees the curation of the company’s social media accounts, its blog, and newsletter. A graduate of the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Emily enjoys painting, cooking (and eating) delicious things and the sudoku-esque challenge of crafting the perfect tweet.

Learn more about Emily’s current art project, Ratios and Recipes, wherein she is researching the best ways to make sustainable, water-based paints from natural pigments: http://ratiosandrecipes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EC_Clanton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RatiosAndRecipes
Coming soon:

How Do You Know? – December 2nd.

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?
On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

Welcome Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Let’s talk 41!

Welcome, Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Not only is Sam the author of Finding Lucas, one of my favorite books, and a cofounder of BookBuzz (along with Francine LaSala and me), she is also one of my favorite people and among my best friends. She’s talking 41.

 

I am Forty-One. What? I’m Forty-One?

By

Samantha Stroh Bailey

 

Yes, it is true. I am no longer twenty, thirty, or even thirty-nine. I am now “in my forties,” which shocks me every time I say it. Not because I haven’t lived every one of those years, but because inside my head, I feel twenty-five. Silly, hopeful, and with my future ahead of me. Yet, entering my forties, for some reason, was not as painful as when I turned thirty.

I still remember the night I went to a dance club for my thirtieth. I loved this particular club because they served the most delicious (and free!) sandwiches after midnight. I often embarrassed the people with me by hovering around the kitchen exit at 11:59 p.m., but oh, those sandwiches were worth their mortification.

I was dressed to the nines, as I usually was in those days, in something short, fitted, and showing skin I will never show again. And as the music pumped and drinks were poured, I felt sad and couldn’t figure out why. I had so many wonderful things in my life then — love, family, friends, a teaching career I was still excited about, I was finishing my Master’s degree, and I had almost completed my first novel, something I had on my Things-to-Do-Before-I’m-Thirty bucket list.

I didn’t have any kids yet, and at the time, I didn’t want any. Oh, how that changed. But I digress. I thought thirty meant grown up. No more nights out dancing; no more sleeping in until noon; no more lack of responsibility. My twenties were over. A new age bracket. A new decade. But the same old me who was scared at how fast time had zipped by.

But when the clock struck twelve, I looked around, wiped my sweaty face, and smiled. Always a goal-setter, at thirty, I had accomplished so much that I had wanted to, and everything else was still attainable. Thirty wasn’t old. I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. And I realized that my thirties was going to be a time when I could do anything I wanted. And I did.

I had two kids, who are the light of my life, and I was published for the first time. A dream I had held for so long. I wrote four more novels, one of which I put out into the world, and many more that I hopefully will. I started my own writing/editing business, which was something I’d imagined but never thought would actually happen. I finally had enough money to buy a house, albeit a tiny one, and I had my own car. Yes, these were all grown-up things, but I also kept my love of life, coffee-fueled energy, and enough naiveté left to be surprised by so many things.

Turning thirty and then forty taught me two very important lessons. The first is that I really have achieved so many of the things I have wanted to, and though not all of my years have been easy, I have gotten through them stronger. The second is that time ticks forward despite our wish to stop it or slow it down. We can’t. So, now eleven years after my thirtieth birthday, I want a hundred more years to spend time with everyone I love and accomplish the new items on my bucket list. But this will likely not happen. So, aging has taught me to appreciate every minute, every second, really, and go after what I want because it is not what age you are that matters. It is what you do with the time you have.

Samantha Stroh Bailey is an author, editor, and journalist. Her published works include the novel, Finding Lucas, and she is the co-editor of the fiction anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage, to which she contributed the short story, Hide and Seek. She is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a live author/reader event held in New York City and Toronto. When not writing and editing, she can usually be found curled up on her couch devouring a book or watching television with a bag of chips in her hand.

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Connect with Sam!

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Coming soon:

How Do You Know? – December 2nd. 

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?

On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

 

Welcome author Justin Bog to the Age is Just a Number series – fearing 40!

HarkAChristmasCollection

I am pleased to welcome Justin Bog, author of the newly released Hark—A Christmas Collection, to the Age is Just a Number blog series. I enjoyed hearing a man’s perspective on aging. Today, Justin talks about his fortieth birthday. And keeping reading for an excerpt from Hark—A Christmas Collection. The Age I Fear . . […]

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K.M. Randall is “getting over” birthdays as the Age is Just a Number series continues

kmrandall

Please give a warm welcome to K.M. Randall, author of Fractured Dream and The Reaper’s Daughter, to the Age is Just a Number blog series. K.M. dishes fearing the big 2.5. and how she finally no longer dreads birthdays. Getting over birthdays My hatred of birthdays began when I was twenty-two. I could already see […]

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Author Julie Farley talks turning 41 on the Age is Just a Number blog series

JulieFarley

Welcome Julie Farley, author of The New Ever After book series, to the Age is Just a Number blog series! I love reading about individuals learning to accept themselves, warts and all. Not that I think Julie has any warts, of course. Keep reading for her thoughts on turning forty-one. When Harry Met Sally was […]

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Talking 60 with author Arleen Williams – Age is Just a Number

face

Welcome, Arleen Williams, author of the Alki Trilogy, to the Age is Just a Number series. While reading Arleen’s wisdom-soaked post, I was moved to begin enjoying each and every moment of my life to its fullest. If only it wasn’t easier said than done… The Final Third “It’s time to start buying bananas one […]

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Age is Just a Number Series – Julia Park Tracey talks turning 31

JuliaParkTracey

I love this post by Julia Park Tracey, author of the upcoming Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop, on how differently she felt turning 31 compared to turning 30. I especially love her thoughts at the end on getting older in general. Enjoy!                       When I’m 31 – […]

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Age is Just a Number Series: Author Hilary Grossman talks turning 25

Hilary in present day

Welcome Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat, and my friend and fellow Booktrope author to my blog. Hilary compares how she imagined she would feel turning twenty-five with the reality of her feelings on that day. (PS: Happy Birthday, Hilary!!) It all started in September. I wasn’t able to put my finger on what was […]

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Author Mary Rowen talks turning 50 as the Age is Just a Number blog series continues

MaryRowen

Thank you, Mary Rowen, for joining the Age is Just a Number blog series. Mary is the author of Living by Ear and today she shares her thoughts on turning 50. Her comments regarding the randomness of life really does drive home the point that age isn’t everything. On Turning Fifty When I think of […]

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Age is Just a Number series – Laura Chapman talks turning 25-26

Me at age 3. I suppose figuring out my life isn’t anything new.

Welcome my friend and fellow author, Laura Chapman (Hard Hats & Doormats), to the Age is Just a Number blog series. In the humorous and heartfelt post below, Laura talks about all she hoped to accomplish before turning 25 and how she reconciled hitting the milestone birthday without achieving it all even a couple of years later. […]

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