OK, the way this column works is that I get to fill this spot every other week. Since I am writing today, I will not have another column until April 8, which means I have to get this particular column out of the way before it is actually relevant.
In between my next two published columns of acclaim and brilliance, I will be having a birthday.
There is nothing very exciting about the fact that I am having a birthday, since I have one on the same day every year. That said, I will be having one of those ''benchmark'' birthdays that I have been dreading since my last one.
Next Monday, I will be turning ... 30.
For many of you who read this, that is really not that big a deal. Most say that 30 isn't that old anyway, and in many ways is the beginning of a great decade of life.
That is all well and good, but I have to admit that I am completely freaked out about this one.
Ten years ago, as I turned 20, I said that I was most dreading the turn from my 20s into my 30s since it would mark the inevitable conclusion that I was going to be an adult.
Forget the fact that I am a married man with two kids, a mortgage, car payments, student loans, a hair line that has stopped retreating all together and started to simply disappear and the all-too annoying ability to say things like ''when I was a kid.'' I fear growing up.
Call it a Peter Pan complex, that's fine with me.
However, unlike Peter Pan, I do not know how to fly, I don't crow when I'm happy, and I have only on two occasions lost my shadow.
I guess my belief has always been that as a teenager or a 20-something, it was easier to be young or to use it as an excuse.
But, now as a 30-year-old, youth is not something that I can hide behind for whatever reason I may choose.
I've also been told by those who have already ventured into such a terrifying territory that it is when things really begin to happen in a person's life.
I've already been married and hope to continue to remain that way, as well as having the kids, so what could be in store for me these next 10 years?
What's frightening to me is to think that if I were an NFL running back, I'd be looked at as used up and over the hill.
Granted, if I tried to carry a football 25 times in a game I'd probably have to be carried around for the next two weeks, but according to my Madden NFL game at home, I'm still a very viable and productive player.
The inevitability of growing up is scary. And perhaps it is easier to look back than to look forward, but those 20s were a pretty amazing 10 years.
What the next 10 have in store is anyone's guess and will be a journey that I look forward to, I suppose.
At least, I?enter into this decade with three amazing travel partners who will help me along the way.
Maybe I shouldn't be so worried about it, because in 10 more years I will be turning 40, and THAT is a reason to panic.