I turned 40. It’s a strange age to turn because I never expected to become forty. It was something that happens to old people and I really didn’t think it would happen. But it has and I reflected on the past 40 years. So many jobs, so many friends, so many experiences. I’ve hit many goals, missed plenty. I’ve been a good friend and a bad one. I got married, have kids.
I was thinking about what’s the difference between a New Year and a New Age. New Year lets me think back on the year and what I accomplished that year and what I will accomplish in the next. New age, especially a big one like forty, allows you to think back on your life, to re-evaluate your entire being, your priorities, your character.
At each number around the earth, you want to accomplish something and you have certain priorities. At first, it is all about learning and then i is all about experiencing and it is all about meeting people and having fun. When you get to 40, fun is good but it is less important. What is more important is using all the experiences, to cement a legacy, to become effective and an expert in a field, and to use that for the betterment of family, friends, loved ones, and society.
I love to travel but I feel it has become even less important as I realize that what is important is not what I look like (although I’d prefer more hair and less of it grey), how strong I am or fast (although I’d prefer that to being slow and weak), but how effective I am with the things I know, with the things I can do. It means to continue to learn and build on top of everything I have done before. It’ is about writing more, working more, and being a good role model and guide to those I love.
Before 40, you live for the day because you feel your mortality because you risk your life for experiences. After 40 you feel your mortality but not on a year-by-year basis, but you feel that 70, 80, 90 is halfway around the corner. It took a long time to get to 40, but it also took a blink of an eye. Forty more years is a lot of time to use all that I know, but it is also a downhill in terms of the fleeing of youth and vibrance. It is gaining expertise and finances and position and loss of the youth that was there just 10-20 years ago.
Forty like Thirty isn’t so bad once you reach. What is important is how you use it. When I hit thirty I changed my trajectory. I flew a plane, traveled the world, wrote a book. From 30-40 I got two advanced degrees, started a company, lived abroad, got a new citizenship, had two children. I did not plan it at thirty, but I had thee things on my list of things I wanted to do. So as I go from 40-50, and 50-80. It is all about the goals I set for myself, about moving slowly but surely at getting them done, and being thankful for all the people around me that make the journey worth it.