by Chris Loprete
The “turning 40” clouds are darkening on the horizon. By the time you read this the skies will have opened up and I’ll be soaking wet. I was fully prepared to suffer hourly panic attacks and sink into a deep depression once the storm hit. I’m definitely susceptible to a major mid-life crisis, but I think I can stave it off for a few more years. So stay tuned because as readers of this blog, you’ll get to witness my descent into madness. That’ll be fun for you.
I actually feel pretty good about turning 40. I’ve always been one for new beginnings. Every major calendar event is an excuse to start over. January 1st? THIS year’s gonna be different! Birthday? THIS is gonna be my year! Arbor Day? THIS is my chance to be more outdoorsy. But I really mean it this time. They say life begins at 40 and I don’t think you can fully understand that phrase until you’ve reached that milestone. My twenties were fun but they don’t count. I was a kid. I was running all over the country (literally) and working in small theatres for no money, with no idea of what to do with my life or where to do it. Then came my 30s and it took the full ten years to grow up. Married at 31, homeowner at 32, father at 35, father again at 38. And now the start of my 40s. I feel like it’s time to start living the life I’ve worked so hard to build for the last ten years. It creeps me out that I vividly remember my parents turning 40. One should never feel like they’re catching up to their parents, ya know? At the same time though I remember wondering where I’d be when I reached their age. Would I have found the love of my life? Check. I woke up next to her this morning. Would I be a father? Check. I have the two cutest and sweetest boys in the world. Yes, I’m the one. Would I love my job? Check. Would I be an Emmy or Oscar winner? Okay…let’s stick a pin in that one for now. Look, I don’t own my dream home. I don’t sleep on a pile of money at night. And as a friend once said “life is hard and expensive.” But looking back at my past (as I’m notorious for doing) I’ve done okay. And I’m ready to start living. Another expression is that 40 is the new 20. If that’s true that would also be great. Buy that math, 60 would be the new 40 so life would begin then too.