by James Manning
Not to give more than 2-cents about opinions I didn’t ask for: This is especially true when it relates to other people opinions about me. Not to say I just don’t give a damn what people think about me… it’s just that unless it relates to safety, health or relationships, other people’s opinion hold less weight now than it did twenty years ago.
Wait in line to get into a nightclub: I’ve evolved into waiting in line for a great club sandwich. My night on the town now includes a few good friends and a few glasses of vodka. I could care less about being with the “in crowd” and prefer the company of people I know. I still get the party promotion emails listing the “invited guest” and how ‘who’s who’ will be there. Now the only thing that matters is making sure I’m not there.
Say “we’re doing the same ole thing tonight”: Um… No we’re not. Great evenings that last until 4 a.m. go from happening twice a week to once every three years. It takes a couple of weeks just to recoup fully and another two years to plan around the birthdays, graduations, family reunions, anniversaries and vacations.
It’s ok to stay in on a Saturday night: Even if I am alone, I no longer feel like a loser sitting in the house on a Saturday night. A glass of wine or a few shots of whiskey along with Netflix makes self -entertainment possible. Not to mention that it’s much cheaper.
A few good friends and a few good beers can usher in a great evening: This goes along with not waiting in line at nightclubs. If you’re with the right people, it doesn’t make a difference where you are at: the park, home, garage, dinner or bar. The potential for a great evening is at hand with good friends.
“If I could do it all over again” is more epiphany than a question: Because the truth is when you’re in your 40’s you come to realize that this is the half-way point in life and there is 40 years of knowledge and wisdom to carry you forward. There is no point is asking yourself “if you could do it all over again”, because that’s exactly what you’re about to do: minus the zits, binge drinking frat parties, and your girlfriend leaving you for the captain of the football team.
I don’t have to know it if I can write a check to get it done: I’ve never been one to look down upon any vocation but I have a far better appreciation for them than I did two decades ago. There was a time when I refused to hire anyone for anything, assuming I could fix it myself if I did enough research. Well, the days of changing the oil in my car, working on plumbing, or Youtubing how to repair a gas line are gone. Who am I trying to impress by mowing my own lawn or repaving the driveway? If God wanted us to do all of that stuff on our own he would have never made handymen and landscapers.
I’ve accepted my flaws: I have them; you have them; they have them. Unless it’s something that is detrimental to spouses or children… to hell with it.
There is so much more to learn: It’s at that point where you realize you don’t know as much as you think you know that you enter into the adult realm. Certainly, there are insignificant facts that I’ve stored in my head but there are things that I’ve learned along the way that have altered my understanding of the world. The key is to remain open to lifelong learning.
You can be practical and passionate: Early in life we are driven by our passions. People asks “what do you want to be” and we create a world where each day is in pursuit of something we love. Then we graduate high school, get a degree in business management, and spend the next 30 years responding to emails and sitting in meaningless meetings. Forty is the age where we ask ourselves “is this it?” The answer is always, it doesn’t have to be. Sure, you have responsibilities but that doesn’t mean we cannot tap into those things that we love, the things that drive us, the things we dream about when the teenage boy isn’t violating curfew or the two year-old isn’t throwing a tantrum for the 43rd time that day. This is the time where we come to realize that we have to give a little to ourselves and the things we love outside of everyone else.
Yep, 40 is the greatest age of any age because it once again places the world at our feet only this time we know better what to do with it.by