On Turning 40
So it’s slowly closing in; that feeling of despair and the creeping realization that you’re old now. In just 11 days, I will have turned 40 and while some say it’s not that bad, others dread it like the plague. I’m on the fence. I don’t feel old internally at least. The body creaks, bones moan and joints snap, crackle and pop like a bowl of Rice Crispies, but I still feel like a kid in my heart.
The past year has been extremely difficult for me; three important people in my life passed on before their time, we’ve fought a hard battle over our home and I’ve become disconnected with friends and family. I’ve been in a bad place the past 12 months and while sometimes it gets better, there are days when I go back there, unwillingly. The difference in 6 months ago and today is that I see a light at the end of the tunnel and my time in the darkness becomes less and less each day. The struggle isn’t over, but I’ve crested the peak and I’m coming back to better days.
Turning 40 doesn’t seem like such a big deal honestly. After the trials of the past year, hell the past 20 years, I think 40 is just my new 20’s. I’m trying to do better physically and mentally and I’m trying to reconnect with my family. But there have been lessons along the way that were instrumental in my growth and in some ways, I think I needed this awakening. I needed to see just how short and precious life really is so that I can live it to the fullest each day. I needed to be hurt and hurt those I loved to understand the true value of love. I needed the time away to reflect on who I am, where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. The only thing that feels strange is the time it took me to get here. I had to grow up early and lost out on a lot of my childhood, but just because you are forced to become a man, doesn’t make you one. It takes time, effort, love and a great deal of understanding. Some people never get it.
So here I am, 11 days from my 40th birthday and I have regrets, but I also have a lot of success. Would I change anything? Sometimes I think I’d change some decisions but ultimately, no I wouldn’t. I’d only like to have had the opportunity to learn more quickly, but then the journey would not have been complete.
The one thing I can impart on my kids at this point is “ask questions”. Talk to me about everything, don’t hold back. It’s something I wished I’d spent more time doing with those I loved. Oh, and take more pictures. Life passes too quickly and these small snapshots of memories help us to capture the best and worst of times. It’s a reflection on our life and how we lived it. This will be the first and most important thing on my bucket list.
My gift to myself this year is just to make more of a difference, build the bucket list and start my journey. It’s what Dad and Billy told me to do and it’s time I get busy living.