As I came up on my 40th birthday in January 2014, I had no choice but to assess my life. I think many of us, especially in western cultures do this as a rite of passage as we approach and pass ages which end in zeros. I vaguely remember turning 10, as that was the first “double digit” age everyone hits. At age 20, I was a sophmore in college, and really coming in to setting and working hard at goals. At 30, I remember saying to myself, and anyone else who wanted to listen to my “mature” speech, that thirty is when a person “really” starts their life. It is when you’re first aware of major responsabilities you have, and you’re at least smart enough to know that you don’t know as much as you thought… but still dumb enough to think that you know enough.
So what is 40 to me? Man, I hate to say it, but I do have a little feeling of a mid life crisis, which I swore I wasn’t going to go through until at least 50… maybe even 65. Since turning 39, I looked at my body in the mirror, my bank account and number of my close friends like some superficial scale of how successful I was. I saw a couple rolls on my body, realized I should have saved more and remembered all of the friends I had in high school and college which I don’t talk to anymore. It got me a little depressed.
I sat in this funk for a couple months through the 39th year of my life. Then, just like a gift from God, I was blindsided by a true sense of gratefulness the month before I turned 40. I think I remembered what I had when I was 20, and even 30, compared to what I have now. I was still fairly healthy, did stick with some savings goals and although I miss a lot of my friends from the past, I’ve made many more deeper relationships.