Reading about an Olympic bobsled team that pulled out of the competition because the driver didn't feel safe doing it, I came across this:
""This was my last chance to do something special," said the 33-year-old, who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics on the track team." http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/02/25/olympics.bobsled.driver.quits/?hpt=C1
I know that feeling, and it's one of the things that's wrong in the world today.
How can someone as young as 33 think a) he'll never ever have another chance to do something special and b) the only special, important things are big, fame-inducing things like the Olympics?
Personally, I think the Dad who made the decision, who said he had to consider his children over his chance at Olympic Glory (which is fleeting), did the more special thing.
I truly believed when I turned 21 and "hadn't done anything" (wasn't famous, I guess) that I had failed and my life was a waste. And I wasn't the only one of my friends who thought that about themselves! It's a tragic world where youth and fame are valued so highly that we don't have the chance to plan for our whole lives--all 90 years of them--to accomplish, live, love, and do "special" things.
It's also a tragic world where "special" things are the ones that give us a chance at fame and fortune, instead of ones that give us a chance to serve others, improve the world, raise a family....you know--the eternal things.
Maybe one of the reasons motherhood is so denigrated in our world is that "now or never" attitude--"I HAVE to do my career NOW while I'm YOUNG or I'll NEVER get a chance at fame and fortune!"
Ironic, because you actually can do a career and get fame and fortune at any age (if that's what you really want--my experience has been that fame is an UNdesirable thing). But you actually can't start a family at any age. There's a real true biological time limit on that one.