International Translation Day is coming up at the end of this month; this year’s theme is Translation: Bridging Cultures (I like it!). Karmically enough, ITD is also my (and my husband’s…is that karmic enough for you?) birthday, and this year it’s a big one. Although I don’t think I’m in mid-life crisis mode over turning 40, it has occurred to me that at least from a statistical point of view, I’m knocking on the door of the second half of life. And I do think that any big milestone is a good opportunity for reflection, so I’d like to solicit some input from readers who are past the halfway point themselves. Specifically, what changes have you made in your work life (or what changes would you like to make) now that you’re in mid-life? What have you re-evaluated and what have you kept the same? Here are some thoughts that have popped into my head so far:
- As I get older, I love translation more and more. Being a better translator is more important to me all the time. However, I find that I also get less tolerant of job stress; clients who needed the project yesterday are less and less appealing and rush work is more and more stressful.
- Translating stuff that hangs around for a while and that people actually read is more important to me. This is why I’ve always loved international development translation, and it’s why one of my goals for this year is to take a literary translation course.
- I find myself thinking more about my future work life. In part, this is because I had my daughter at what’s considered a relatively young age here in Boulder (30). As compared to some of my friends who are in their mid-40s and have preschoolers, I’ll be 48 when my daughter graduates from high school. That opens up lots of possibilities; teaching translation, getting an in-house job, going back to school, and so on. Right now I can’t say that I’m hankering for a radical departure from what I do now, but it’s interesting to think about.
Mature readers, any tips from you?