Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Reflection on 40

Effective at 11:09 am on August 20, 2012, I am officially 40.  You know, 40 years ago I never thought I'd make it this far.

Of course, 40 years ago I don't think I thought that much anyway. 

Yet, here I am. Somehow.  By the grace of God.  I'm thankful to be here, though a bit confused as I consider all the crazy things I've done in my childhood that should have ended my story: jumping into ponds not knowing what snakes were in it, swinging on vines over deep ditches, playing by spillways near lakes, walking into strangers' houses just because the doors were unlocked...it is surprising that I'm now 40.

I've always been thankful of the little things in life: birds chirping, cool breezes, sunny skies with puffy white clouds, green grass and trees.  I never falter to be thankful for my home, clothes, food, transportation, and work.  I'm most thankful for my greatest birthday gifts of all: friends, family, talents, and an ability to both smile and make folks smile.  I'm always appreciative of those who inspire me to do the things I do, including those who have left this world.

I consider the years that have gone by which have taken those I love from my friends and family and remember them all frequently.  I hope somehow they can get a moment to recall me in their new lives.

40 brings a lot with it, I think.  I feel that I've learned to be more patient--except with folks who drive too slow, drive too badly, drive too fast, or speed up to get in my way and then slow down; or those who get in line in front of me at the store when checking out and yet have more shopping to do so I have the opportunity to put my life on hold while they go spend 10 minutes to get what they want...

But, I digress.

I'm grateful for the e-mails and the posts to my wall on Facebook.  There is no way I could ever possibly respond to everything, so I hope this will suffice as my THANK YOU to my family and friends.

And thought I may not always keep in touch by phone, e-mail, regular mail, or smoke signals, I do hope everyone knows that they are on my mind and in my heart daily. 

So, what has 40 taught me?  There's a bright side to everything if you look for it.  My own quote has always been, "I'd be dangerous if I could afford my genius," but also, "Above every storm cloud, the sun still shines."  I've learned that some gifts in life cannot be wrapped, and that is the gift of your friends, family, talents...it is the emotions of happiness, sadness which makes you appreciate being happy, and laughter!  What a great gift laughter is, right?  There are so many things to be thankful of!

And, as I mentioned to my nephew Daniel, there is one other thing about turning 40 that you will realize:  Being 40 means you feel like your 27 but with stiffer joints and more gas!

So, as I close out my 40th birthday and approach midnight, I again thank everyone for their birthday wishes and hope your birthdays and every days are as happy and special as you make me feel.  Thank you for being my friends--my gifts!  This means YOU!

It certainly is a happy birthday!

"Look, I know the chocolate on my face SEEMS incriminating, but,
I didn't take it.  It just fell in my mouth--I tried to push it away but it
kept forcing itself on me.  I'm innocent!  You don't believe me?!
...  OK then, I plead the 5th!"
Photo by DaMarco Randle.

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