Upon Turning Forty

I haven't blogged much since the divorce, but today I turned 40, so I thought that deserved some reflection. Turning 40 is one of those milestones in life. Supposedly. Of course, it's just another day. 

But sometimes days are easy to dread or anxiously anticipate or long for or avoid. 

There was part of me that was dreading turning 40. Mostly because of feeling like I don't measure up for having two score years under my belt. It's easy to start comparing where I'm at in life to where it looks like others are at. Feelling a little worthless because of having a failed marriage, because of my issues that were a big part of that, because of feeling unsuccessful or not having a notable career or not being financially successful. Feeling lonely and friendless. Those kind of thoughts easily creep in. 

I've talked with a good friend a bit about these feelings and thoughts. A good thing about getting older is that you learn to listen to others and not just play out the craziness in your own head. He reminds me that the world's version of success isn't what God measures success by. And so often the world's version of success doesn't produce happiness. And when I judge myself against others, I'm only judging by the outward things I can see--or that I think I see. I don't know the inner struggles or reality of their lives. 

So I didn't dread today. There was plenty to look forward to. Or at least I knew I didn't need to fear it. 

Yes, the school day started with a child saying I looked old in the new glasses I got yesterday. But the kids all wished me happy birthday at various times throughout the day. Some even proudly told their parents that I was 40 today. 

I got to go out for supper with my kids tonight. They were really fun to be with. They even had a present for me. 

So much of life isn't found in the grandiose, but in the little moments that only reveal their specialness when you stop and become present. And success doesn't lie in what you amass or accumulate, but within the eternal marks you make in the lives of others. 

And no matter how the past 40 years went, each day was only a stepping stone for the days to come. Days to learn from and grow upon, days to savor and days to put aside. But each one has shaped me, and each one has given me the potential to continue living life more fully as I journey on the path with Jesus.