I'm 40. 30 years ago you would find me sitting in my room with a calculator. Trying to work out the math for the year that it would be when I would turn 40. I would be so olllld. Yuck! Yuck yuck yuckety yuck!
Either that or the fact that, according to my brother and sister, that The Earth would be swallowed up by the sun and we would all perish in a rapid ball of flames and I would never make it to 40. I believed them, so I spend many a night wide awake in my bed wondering what my purpose was and what it would matter since we were all going to be the toast headed for a very. Large. Toaster.
So here I am, and aside from the still looming uncertainty that is my purpose - I have learned a few things along the way to 40.
- You're only as young as you feel. Yes, my feet and ankles hurt more on cold days, but otherwise, I feel great. Occasionally, I channel some cranky, cantankerous soul and thankfully my wife reminds me that I am not that person.
- Life throws you curve balls. Your ideal image of what your life should be may not be the way it is going to turn out. Divorces happen, Friends pass away, pets pass away, Planned Pregnancy comes sooner than planned, Medical bills, dogs and cats living together - Mass Hysteria! When they happen, don't forget to breathe.
- On the heels of that, when curve balls happen in the form of folks "doing you wrong". I put that in quotes because sometimes, maybe sometimes it's not their fault. It's called a Jump... to Conclusions Game. Maybe you might want to take a minute to look in the Mirror. Maybe, sometimes, it's best to forgive that person for your own peace of mind knowing full well you won't really get anything in return over than your Peace of Mind, and Heart, and Soul and friends, sometimes that is worth the sacrifice than perceived Justice. Then is it really a sacrifice?
- Pray, and pray often. Whether you serve God or have your own personal belief. We live in scary times and more often than not it's a darn good idea to pray for guidance. You may wind up with the calmness of spirit to handle the crisis before it starts.
- Remind yourself daily of the blessings that are right in front of you.
- My parents were right more than I care to admit.
- I'm proud of my Dad more than I will ever be able to tell him, and equally as proud of my Mom, Sister, and Brother. My Dad started his own business at 40 years old, My Mom survived a near fatal heart attack, My sister and brother both run businesses and raised fine children.
- Don't be afraid of your feelings, tell the ones you love you love them.
- I'm 40 and I'm still scared of the future. That is okay. There is a dash of excitement in the unknown.
- Don't be afraid to be yourself, it's okay to be ridiculous sometimes.
- That doesn't mean getting loaded and acting a fool. (I wish I had learned this one sooner)
I'm sure that there is so much more. If it was the old days, my friend Trevor and I would have ridden our bikes out to the woods and smoked cigarettes and probably solved all of the world's problems. And maybe we did and the world just evolved with a new set of problems. But we evolved too, and I think that is part of the perception of getting older - older is a mindset, and perhaps each day we're just evolving into wiser, better versions of ourselves working towards being the best versions of us we can be.