October 2, 2019

A firm grip on mid-life

Forty is the new 30.

Heard that a few times in the past? Me too, especially this year as a lot of my 1979’ers join in the big 4-oh club.

Sorry, but no. Forty is the new 40. Be happy with that.

When I was 30, I had a noisy infant, with number two baby soon to be on the way. I had a job that was not permanent—a career stepping-stone, yes, but not the career I have today. I was down one parent in recent years then, and the other was fighting cancer at the time. To be clear, there is no lament about life at 30, and in fact, I was being retrospective and celebrating similar content about the end of my 20’s, when I turned 30.  But it was a very different place than where I am now.

And now, I’m 40. I have two older, competent, interesting, engaged kids. I'm headed toward the 14th anniversary of wedded happiness to my best gal. I'm in a career—yes, career—that I love and can keep growing into. My parents are both gone now, and I’m past my own grief of that and their happy memories live in my heart. All in, it’s a welcome way to start the next decade.

14,600 days later... 
No lament in the loss of more youth. I took up a new sport in the past year (rowing, for anyone paying attention) and it’s clear that you can teach an old dog some new tricks. Granted, this dog still has a lot to learn in that sport. It’s challenging and technical and I guess that’s what I’ve enjoyed about it. It’s good to keep testing the grey matter and learning new things. I have a new home this year, too—the previous blogpost will fill you in on that detail—and it’s pretty cool to start a fresh decade with a new abode.

If you look closely, there are a few sprigs of grey hair appearing in my eyebrows and hairline (nose and ear hairs, too, maybe?!). I welcome each new silvery addition. Growing older, and all the signs that provide witness to the passage of time, are privileges denied to so, so many.

I suppose the list of positives about being 40 could go on, but let’s keep it short and sweet. Life is better spent living in the moment and looking forward to what’s next than it will ever be looking back on what has happened (or didn’t happen). I’m a happy, healthy, wildly fortunate 40-year-old. I don’t know what I did to deserve what I have, but I’ll take it. I feel like I’m successful in most endeavours these days—that’s not an overnight thing, but a cumulation of a bunch of good days, great support and hard work that lead up to today. I’m a really freakin’ lucky guy. 

I have no major life advice at this time, in case you're curious. Be good, try to do good, and most things will come out 51 of 49 most of the time (that's my favourite 'old man' saying, FYI). 

Happy birthday to me. Bring on 40. 

Now pass the pie plate (a la mode, if you please!)