Reflections on Being 40

So yesterday I turned 40, and I don't feel much different than I did the day before when I was 39.
I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I remember thinking when I was 20 that 40 seemed pretty old. It doesn't seem that old now. Some older friends have informed that they can't even remember what it felt like to be 40. I suppose these kinds of comments are designed to make me feel better about reaching middle-age, or something, but I really don't need any bucking up.
Right this second, I am sitting on the back porch of my in-laws house in North Carolina. The sun is shining in my face and it 's perfect. I spent the day yesterday with my family, laughing, eating barbeque, sharing stories, playing golf with my four year old son, resting, reading, drinking coffee, walking the dog, breathing in the crisp mountain air...it was a good day.

Today is Thanksgiving. The big house where my inlaws live in North Carolina is coming to life. The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is on the TV, and the smell of coffee and roasting turkey is in the air. In the living room there is a fire in the fireplace, and someone is making dressing and giving instructions on how to do it properly. I can tell that this is going to be one of those days that I will be sad to see come to an end. I'm glad that it won't for a while. I plan on making it last as long as possible.
I have this notion--that's the only word I can think of to describe it, really--that Heaven is living your very best days over and over again. At least that would be Heaven to me. I would have to say that the past two days would be among them. I can think of some others. There was the day I got married, for instance. It was a crisp, cold day in January and there were no clouds in the sky, and my wife glowed as if the sun was shining just on her. That was a day that I made last as long as I could. There was the day my oldest son was born, and then the day my youngest son was born---both days that I could easily live over again. There was this one day when my wife and I were in Barcelona and we ate tapas at an outdoor cafe, drank sangria and then... There was the day I walked through a field in Oxford, England with my wife and son, listening to the bells in a church and loving them both so fiercely that I couldn't even speak.
Those kinds of days, when strung together are incredible, beautiful and numerous, oh so numerous.

It's not so bad being 40. I am thankful for each and every year, each moment. I know that there have been times in the past when I have taken the gift of a new day for granted. I resolve never to do this again. Each day of my life has the potential to be holy, sacred...eternal. I want to make them last forever.



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