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Reflections On Turning 40

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I think we all had this grand plan when we were young.  We had this ideal life in our minds and we were sure we’d eventually get there.  Like most 18 year old boys I thought I’d be making $100,000/year and dating super models by the time I was 25.   I was off by a few years and a few dollars.  I look back at my 18 year old self and realize that I was an idiot.  My priorities were completely off (as most 18 year olds are) and I lacked the focus and work ethic to accomplish much of anything.

So why am I writing this?  Well, I will be turning 40 next week and I have to admit that I’m freaking out a little about it.  I mean, 40 is old right?  I had better not say that too loud…my wife turned 40 last year.  The difference is that she still looks fantastic and could still pass for her late 20’s.  My beard is going gray, my hair is basically gone, and I have aches and pains everywhere.  What’s worse is that I make those sounds when I get up like my dad used to make.  You know…that grunting sound.  I have not aged well.

It frightens me to think that over half my life is over.  So I am making a pledge.  This post serves as my mini manifesto.  I am going to live life fuller.

  • I am going to spend more time with my family – This is a no brainer.  My kids are young now (except for my daughter) and these are times that I’ll never get back.   I think we should all do this and not wait until we’re knocking on death’s door…like me.
  • I am going hiking more often – I love geocaching and hiking in the forest.  I don’t do it nearly enough.  There are some great state parks in our area and I’m going to make an effort to visit them more often and do more hiking.
  • I’m going to teach my sons how to survive in the outdoors (and away from the iPads) – This one goes with the one above.  I grew up in the country and I spent a lot of my childhood in the woods around our house.  My boys wouldn’t know what to do in the woods.  I think these are essential skills for young men to have.  Starting fires, snaring rabbits, wrestling bears, etc.
  • I’m going to have a date night with my wife every week – We have tried to do this and we do it roughly once a month now.  I want to increase that.  It doesn’t have to be a big date where we drop tons of cash.  It could simply be picking up Taco Bell and heading to a local park to have a gourmet picnic.  It’s the fact that we make an effort to spend time together that’s important.   Marriage is tough and you have to keep putting forth the effort ensure your marriage is strong.  A strong marriage is good for everyone…especially your kids.
  • And most importantly I’m going to grow closer to God – This is the biggie.  I let so many things get between me and God.  Sometimes I think I give God the leftovers of my time.  I need to make Him the focus and spend more time His Word.  I’m currently do a daily devotional series that lets me read The Bible in a year.

These are all great goals and I really hope I can accomplish them.  I know that these are much better things to throw myself into than a typical mid life crisis.  I don’t need a sports car and I certainly don’t need a girlfriend (my wife has a gun and knows how to use it).  So there you have it…my public declaration that I’m old and what I plan to do about it.    Gotta go now…I think I have a gray hair coming out of my ears.

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About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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