Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values
This week I was asked several times about turning fifty.
I was asked by twenty-somethings who now realized that I was twice as old as them. The gap that seemed more about experience than age now felt a little different.
I was asked by thirty-somethings who wondered aloud how old fifty seemed, but asked silently, “What will I be like when I’m fifty?”
Twenty was the year I was going to school full-time, and working full-time, but I was spinning my wheels. When I turned twenty I had yet to make some healthy changes in my life, and the future didn’t look bright.
Looking back on turning twenty, it was six month later in the spring when the catalysts of change began to cause their reactions. Changes were coming. I was starting to grow up.
“It’s funny”, I said, “turning thirty was so much better than turning twenty.”
Turning 30 I was happily married with two great kids and a job I loved.
With hindsight, I can now see we were trying to be happily married, but I was in the depth of my workaholic days. And, those great kids were also greatly energetic and their less energetic mom was wearing down from carrying most of the load.
Amy deserved better. My kids deserved more of me. I couldn’t see it yet.
“Forty felt older than thirty,” I said pausing, “but not much more.”
Turning forty was different than turning thirty. Of course, forty seemed older than thirty, but it seemed more like “30-10,” than another decade older.
Fortunately I was even more happily married, and those two great kids were now twelve and ten; such great ages to be a kid and be a dad. As I turned forty I was in a good place in life.
My love for my wife is even stronger. Those young children I had when I was thirty are now young adults.
The smile-filled daughter still smiles, but now she bring smiles out in others whose frowns seemed permanent. She used to fill our home with joy, but until December she’ll being bring smiles to folks in Colorado. We’re looking forward to her return. Skyping and phone calls are just not the same as laughing and talking in the same room.
Remember that twenty year old I described myself as, well, my son is now the twenty year old going to school full-time, and working full-time.
I was spinning my wheels at twenty, my son is full-speed ahead. He’s successful at his job and looking forward to becoming a firefighter. While I had yet to make some healthy changes in my life, my son has, and his future looks bright.
Looking Back While Looking Ahead
I’m excited to say that I still have the same job I had when I was turning thirty.
This last weekend my birthday party gave me a wonderful perspective on life from thirty to fifty.
My house was filled with people newborn to sixty.
Those teens I worked with at thirty are now older than I was then, they’re in their thirties many of them married with children. Some of them now with teens of their own.
Those teens I worked with at forty are now young adults. Some with blossoming dreams, others blooming with young families of their own.
And, a couple of the teens I currently work with came over. What a blessing! Three generations of TreeHouse teens gathered in one place.
Fifty feels older than twenty, or thirty, or forty, but in many ways I’m happier than I’ve ever been.