As a child, birthdays are great. Better wheels always beckon: from big wheels, to spoked wheels, to hot wheels, to roulette wheels. As each year spins forward, life gets bigger and more glorious all the time.
For me, every birthday after 21 has felt like anticlimax. Even turning 21 wasnâ€™t that great: I had to stand in line at the DMV (again), and to make matters worse; I had to give up the sauce. That day, a reintroduction to mind numbing bureaucracy, knowing I wouldnâ€™t ever be able to sufficiently numb out again, made me feel unwheeled.
Then, each successive year felt like the ocean wearing down a hapless shell. Someone once called it leading a life of quiet desperation . . . they left out the disquiet part.
Then, in November, I turned 40.
Jeez! Now Iâ€™m a geez!
By every indication, my 40th birthday should have scored low on the seismic register: I had no birthday party, cake, day off from work, etc.; in short, it lacked tremor.
But, in the stillness, I realized, God willing, Iâ€™m halfway home. I felt like I had outgrown a lot of the irrelevancies of youth. And the best was still yet to come.
Looking back, each decade has brought a few lessons:
1. Those closest to you hurt you the most.
2. Prosperity is a state of mind.
1. Sleep on your dreams, and they might never awaken.
2. Candy is dandy, and liquor makes sicker.
1. Never, ever give up.
2. Do the right thing even if it costs you.
1. Overcome your challenges now because they always reappear.
2. Love is not an option; itâ€™s a command.
At least halfway home, I more clearly understand the paradox of the glass is half empty versus half full.
If your heart is full then the glass is half full; if your heart is empty, the glass is half empty. Fill your heart with faith and love, and your life, no matter your age, will never run on empty.