This last week, my husband turned 40. 40. When did we get here? How did this happen...already? It was just the other day that we were barely in our 30's and meeting our daughter for the first time. Back then, we were proud to be able to say we were in our 30's, debt free, starting a family, owning a home, loving our stable and predictable careers in teaching. Now, my husband is 40, we are still a family of one adorable and wonderful little girl, without those stable careers and home and knee deep in school loans. Here he is, 40, and we are nowhere near predictable...and as fluid as a wandering river. Forty is no longer young adult, but mid life. Mid-life? We aren't where a mid-life family is supposed to be. A house. Two car garage. Careers. Regular game night with other mid-life families. Long standing memberships at the local whatever it might be. We haven't been a part of any community for more than a year and half for anytime over the last 5 years. We are starting our 40's. We are too old for this....We are suppose to be "over the hill" but we haven't even reached the summit.
Well, that is one perspective. A pretty grim one, really. Here's another: my husband turned 40 last week. Five years ago, at 35, he stepped out - we stepped out - and made a big life altering decision. He decided to go to medical school. 15 years in to a career he enjoyed, he made a decision to seek a career he was passionate about. It was a big step. Some said we were brave. Most said we were crazy. We have gone back and forth on that one for 5 years. We sold most of what owned, packed up our suitcases and headed for the islands like a couple of carefree newlyweds. For the last 5 years, we have moved from the islands to Europe to the islands to the mountains to the big city, always living out of what we could carry with us. Debt? Sure. We've got it now. I choose to look at as an investment in living. Living the adventure and investing in the future. At 35, my husband was comfortable, enjoying his career, happy with his two car, two dog, two garage life. Today, he is 40 and he is anything but comfortable. The unknown stares us in the face, but not with anxiety, but with anticipation of what it might hold. At 40, Matt will graduate from med school and begin a career he passionate about. At 40, Matt along with his 7 year old daughter and his wife, will bring home his second daughter. At 40, he will celebrate 15 years of a really wonderful and adventurous marriage. At 40, he will really just be embarking on the adventure and the summit is still ahead. "Too old for this" is just one perspective. On his birthday, we stood at the "Top of the Rock" in NYC and looked out over an incredible sunset. It was the end of a pretty wonderful day, but when you look out over a view like this of the city, there is a sense of wonder and promise. Promise of day even better than the last. A day even more adventurous, more unexpected than the last."
One of my favorite author's words came to me while we watched the sun set on his birthday. Thoreau, a man who left everything to live in the middle of the woods and see if he could "live life" once said,
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Today, I am proud of my 40-year-old husband. He set out on adventure and took us along with him. And what have we to show for it? A life more unexpected, more uncommon than imagined. Happy birthday, Matt. I am enjoying the adventure with you!