So this is my 40.

6 Dec

So this is my 40.

My reflection on turning 40, has come a little late.  Part of the delay is that I have had a few big issues to wrestle with in the last couple of years (including a career shift, an interstate move, a severely ill spouse, and a crisis of faith.  

Actually my reflection is really late as I am now 41.  I probably would have let it totally pass, but endless requests for letters for friends reaching this same milestone- have completely forced me to reflect on reaching the top of the hill, and I am apparently on my decent.  

So this is my 40.

I still remember the day that I knew I was old.  I was driving to work and was happily enjoying public radio.  As if this recognition wasn’t enough, a glance in the rear view mirror revealed to me that there were now specks of white growing from my chin.  

So this is my 40.

White specks and public radio.  

Oh there is a lot more to this phase of life.  There is my growing waistline, my entrenchment in older fashion (Who is glad that plaid is back?), my befuddlement regarding current fashion, and the failing of certain faculties including memory, hearing, and vision.  

So this is my 40.  

My body is not the only thing that has changed.  

Dreams.  Some dreams have been checked off – Others remain unfinished.  While I may have missed the boat for some ambitions, others I intentionally sunk.

Position.  While many have only seen and known me as a leader, I am not in a place of power.  I am not near people of power.  I actually tend to run from them especially if they tote religious authority.

Placement.  My road map has been frequently updated and my compass at times appears broken.  I never expected to obtain a doctorate that would remain dormant.  I never expected to start a new career in an entry level position at this phase of life.  

So this is my 40.

picture with boysFamily.  I have changed due to the arrival of one, then two, then a third  beautiful boy who resemble me in almost every possible way.  My years pass quicker now that I focus on the changes within them, and celebrating their development.

God has blessed me with a wife who has been faithful by my side  walking on mountain tops and in the valley.

So this is my 40.

Faith.  I was a pillar of spirituality for so many.  A servant of the church who would have done anything for his spiritual leaders.  Unfortunately, that misdirected devotion caused me to sacrifice the emotional and spiritual health of my family and my own soul for the sake of an institution.  

Spiritual abuse that forced me to change friends, locations, and careers.  As a young man, I had never experience pain.  Now, I daily wonder whether my dark night of the soul will end.  

So this is my 40.

Am I disillusioned?  Most certainly.  

Am I suffering a midlife crisis?  Possibly.  

This is my 40.  

I am not the same person. 

While growing up, I missed a fundamental point about adulthood.  

You continue to change.  

Adulthood is not a threshold you cross and enter fully completed.  It is not a plaque earned that gets posted on the wall.  It is not the final hoop that ends the race.  

I somehow missed the fact that adulthood is not the ending but  the beginning.  Adulthood is not the end of development, but simply leads to more change.  I felt adulthood would mean – No more changing.  No more reflecting.  No more wrestling- over who I am or what I want to be.  

But I am so different than I was at 20.  I am much different that who I was at 30.  I am beginning to see that I will not be the same person at 50. 

Life changes you.  

So this is my forty.  

My dear friends from the past, they do not know who I am today because I am different.   They are different too- this is probably why “friends are friends forever” may have rocked our graduation ceremonies in the 90’s, but these relationships failed to last even in a world filled with digital communication. 

So this is my 40.

I have changed, and you have changed.  The world around us has changed.  

So this is my 40. 

My life is strangely beautiful.  At times it is painfully peaceful.  It is better than I imagined and harder than I dreamed.  

But I am here, and I have discovered that I am not alone.  

God is here.  And those whom I love are near.  So whether the future brings me one day, one year, or 40 years, I am hopeful and expectant.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

4 Responses to “So this is my 40.”

  1. Keith December 6, 2016 at 09:31 #

    Do I know you? I don’t but it seems like I should because so much of what you said resonates with me. I’m 39. Sick spouse. Crisis of faith after selling myself to a religious institution. No lust for power for me. I’m changing, changing; warding off depression. I have a beautiful family like you do. But yes, God is here and those I love are here. Thanks for sharing, brother.

    • gdavidboyd December 6, 2016 at 19:29 #

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I am sure that we have much in common – and would enjoy a conversation over coffee (or sweet tea – which is my obsession). If you are in Indy, let me know. May God bless you in your journey! I hope that my work can encourage you. If you have had a rough time with the church, please read my work on PTCD (Post-Traumatic Church Disorder).

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dad, will you do something with me? | More Than A Beard - February 21, 2017

    […] Time passes whether we want it to or not.  Whether we reflect on it or not.  Reflecting on the endless march of time often brings strong emotion whether over the memories of my childhood, the passing of young adulthood, and even hitting 40. […]

  2. The 7 Marks of Maturity | More Than A Beard - July 19, 2017

    […] I have gotten older, I have been through some good and bad times.  I am now past forty, and often wonder if I have become more mature with age, or just – older.  Here is a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: