Forty Septembers

There are many ways to look at it…

Forty trips around the sun…

280 -/+ dog years…

480+/- full moons…

Forty Summers/Winters/falls/Springs

The fact remains that today I celebrate the fortieth anniversary of my birth. A fact that is thanks in large part to my Mom, of course, my friends and family, for all… always being there for me when I needed them.

Birthdays have always been a sore subject for me.  I will not go into the details, but for those that know me, you also know my reasoning.  In fact, I did not really start learning to enjoy my birthdays until I met the woman that is now my wife.  This is not to say that my family and other friends did not help, but sometimes your spouse can convey thoughts and ideas that the rest of your family cannot.

As I look back on my life up to this point, I worry that I may not have done all that was expected of me.  That is more of a philosophical question than anything else, and thusly has no correct answer.  It is more a question about my role in the universe and if I am living up to my part in it.  Have I achieved that which was expected of me.  Is this all there is?  Is there nothing more?

Looking at the average life span of a male American, it would appear that I have reached about the half-way point in my journey of life.  The point where we should look around, make sure that we are still heading in the direction that we want and expect, make any corrections to our heading, then weigh anchor and set sails again.

I am not depressed about forty.  In reality, it is only a number, unless I make it out to be something else.  I do look at what I HAVE done with my life and think that I should have tried harder, pushed myself more, taken more chances, made more friends, not let go of as many as I have.  But there is a lot of life left, and the road is entirely uncharted.  We never know what is waiting around the next corner, or where life will take us tomorrow, the day after, next year, or any time afterward.

Forty is not a big number.  When I look at my age, I alway think of what Chiun said in the movie “Remo Williams: The adventure begins.”

“For a plum, I am old beyond my time, for a mountain, I have not begun my years, for a man, I am just right.”

When I look at aging and the process of “ripening”, I have gotten in the habit of looking at a good friend of mine named Russ.  If I can be half the person and live half the live that he has, by the time I am his age, then I will consider myself to be lucky.

In closing… I do not really could my life in years.  I have learned that you should count your life in the friends you have made and the loves you have known, both those you keep now, and those that have moved on to other things, or have slipped away forever.  I am learning not to dwell on the bad things I have experienced, but accept them as lessons learned and embrace them as part of my life, every bit as important as the good things, and in some cases, maybe even more so.

We are all learning, right up until the day we die.  So you might say that we are all incomplete works, each year we are just adding a new feature.

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