Yesterday I turned forty.
Funny thing, turning forty. People buy you balloons and tease you about getting old. They jokingly ask you if you're in denial or depressed about the big FOUR-OH. When I hear things like that I think of a scene in an early episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation, in which a very old Bones (the doctor from the original series, for you non-trekkies) says, "What's so damn disturbing about not having died?"
But I just laugh and think to myself, "What's so damn disturbing about turning forty?"
Nothing. It's just a number. As my 14-year-old son says, I haven't even lived half of my life yet!
But forty years is, as they say, nothing to sneeze at. You can learn a lot in forty years if you're paying attention. So, if you care to stick around, I'll share with you forty things I've learned in the forty years I've been blessed to be on this Earth.
1. Having teenagers makes you realize how easy the toddler years were.
2. True love is more of a choice than a fairy tale.
3. God is good. Always.
4. Talent doesn't guarantee anything.
5. Hard work and perseverance are worth more than a formal education.
6. You are never too old for children's books, crayons, or Legos.
7. You are also never too old to play at the playground (swings especially).
8. Anything worth accomplishing is worth the effort it takes to get it done.
9. Marriage is a minimum of 20% gross.
10. High school years are not "the best years of your life."
11. Marrying young is no excuse for divorce.
12. A "black thumb" doesn't have to last for a lifetime.
13. Boys and girls are different, no matter what the progressives say.
14. Childbirth is not the worst kind of pain.
15. But it is the most worthwhile kind of pain.
16. Great distance doesn't have to end a friendship.
18. Faster is not always better.
19. Whining never makes miserable people happier.
20. You are never so far from Jesus that you can't get to him with one step.
21. Handwritten notes sent in the mail are a good way to brighten someone's day.
22. If you do something the lazy way, chances are you're gonna have to do it again.
23. Apologies can be hard.
24. You are just as flawed as everyone else.
25. Everyone is good at something.
26. No one is good at everything.
27. Ordinary things are often the best things.
28. Spiders and bees are not out to get you.
29. Dogs are funny.
30. Cats are funnier.
31. The unborn are people worth protecting.
32. Punctuation matters.
33. Some adults never learned how not to be bullies.
34. People can disagree about issues, but still be good friends.
35. Creativity is not just for artists and writers.
36. Life is full of unexpected moments, both good and bad.
37. The world is a fascinating, and sometimes scary, place.
38. Forgiving someone is more for your benefit than theirs.
39. Even the smartest people sometimes act like idiots.
40. Every day is an opportunity to live and love and grow.