On Reaching the Curmudgeonly Age of 44

Jeff VanderMeer • July 6th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm • Culture

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I’m sure it’s July 7 somewhere, so I might as well admit it’s my birthday and I’m 44. Turning 44 doesn’t bother me one bit, to be honest. I’m in the best physical shape of my life, getting about 2 hours of exercise a day, and feel strong as an ox. I’ve also had a monstrous first half of the year creatively, returning at full strength to fiction and completing a novel, Annihilation, the novelette Komodo, and several short stories. As well as finishing off parts of other novels, a long essay on literary fakes, and part of Wonderbook, my forthcoming illustrated book on writing.

Strangely, getting bronchitis after several dental surgeries was a blessing. It made me slow down and focus. Ever since then, near the beginning of the year, I’ve felt refreshed and rejuvenated. A far cry from the last couple of years, during which, quite frankly, the looming shadow of The Weird really impacted our lives in negative ways, even if we’re quite proud of the achievement embodied by that anthology. It just devoured our schedule, our routine, etc.

Although the balance in my life still sometimes goes back and forth, the one thing I haven’t ever given up during this year is the work in the gym, and it’s been a huge part of why I’ve managed to be so productive. I’m also happy to be 6 years out from the last time I held a day job, and very grateful to be able to do what I love.

I’m looking forward to a great rest of the year, with Wonderbook being turned in soonish, and several amazing new projects to announce in the next couple of months. I’ll also be completing Authority, the sequel to Annihilation.

Finally, as ever, thanks to friends and family–and to my wife Ann, my love, who keeps me sane, makes me laugh, and who is always there for me.

7 Responses to “On Reaching the Curmudgeonly Age of 44”

  1. Melanie Lamaga says:

    I decided awhile back that 50 is the new 30 because people are staying healthy and looking young longer (if they work at it), and even thinking young longer, in this the new, entrepreneurial Internet age (if they choose to). So happy 24th birthday!

  2. Average Jane says:

    Happy birthday! Actually mine is July 7th as well, but I’m a year older than you are.

  3. Steve Buchheit says:

    Happy happy, Jeff.

    If I’m given the choice, I’d rather be my Wii Fit Age, or an average of those scores, instead of my chronological age.

  4. Anne S says:

    Happy Birthday Jeff! Gee I wish I was 44 though 64 is OK as well

  5. ¬ says:

    May the spirit of the bear synchronise your charkras and may death come swiftly to your enemies.

  6. jeff vandermeer says:

    Thanks, all. Anne!! I owe you an email.

  7. Devon Ellington says:

    Happy belated birthday! I turned 50 this year, and am loving every second of it. I’ve earned every one of these years!

    I was always “old for my age”, so now I’m growing into myself. And leaving NYC for Cape Cod was the best decision of my life.

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