Thursday, July 17, 2008

A New Perspective on 40


Yesterday, my husband turned 40 (that's him in the photo, riding a bike in Thailand) and his birthday gave me a whole new perspective on what it means to turn another decade older.

When he and I started dating almost 12 years ago, he was still in his 20's on the precipice of 30. I am 7 years younger and so at 21, he seemed much more mature than I and was a wonderful confidant to help me navigate life after college. After we were together for a couple of years, I never thought of our age difference. It was never an issue in how we related to one another -- we are true soulmates in every sense of the word. And, we discovered that many of our other friends were part of the "7 Club." We were normal.

A couple of weeks ago while I was planning his birthday party a.k.a. laser tag extravaganza, it hit me that my husband was going to be 40. "Wow! This is the age that many of us probably begin to think of adults as being old. But, he doesn't look or act 40. Ryan has stayed vibrant and alive. He acts like he is still in his 20s."

After think about this, it struck me. What does it mean to act your age? Who defines what is proper etiquette and activity for a person at a certain age? We certainly have friends who I think act older than they are. They were those people who as soon as they turned 30 or got married, they thought it meant they no longer could have colorful humor, clothing, lives or anything else that points them out as independent-thinking individuals. They have become the Ethan Allen-Banana Republic clones that in one word can only be described as "beige."

Ryan and I are would probably be described as bright. We seize every moment and enjoy it, making us great traveling partners and, I think, down the road, wonderful parents. Now, I think that we have had experiences most people are lucky enough not to have -- such as burying a parent or having cancer -- and maybe that is why we don't stick to conventions. And, while those experiences, created havoc and whirlwind in our lives, they showed us how precious our time together truly is. What would I do without this beautiful man in my life?

So, yesterday, we celebrated 40 years of adventures and the 40 years of adventures to come. We also celebrated the oncology appointment earlier that morning where we learned that Ryan wouldn't have to get radiation treatment for his most recent tumor.

My outlook on 40...it is another decade to reflect on your life thus far and then look toward the future and all it has to hold. I don't think it is as much a big deal as it once was. We live longer now. Many people don't even begin planning their families until they turn 40. It is a wonderful time to be alive and I know that when I turn 40 it will be a rite of passage and that much closer to retirement and a life of leisure.

Just a note...I know I am bias. But, my husband has got to be one of the hottest, most adorable 40-year-old men on the planet. Not too many men his age are just starting to get sprinklings of gray, or for that matter, even have hair that can turn gray. And, how many can say that their husbands are told often that they look like Johnny Depp. I am a lucky girl. I love you, sweetie!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday Ryan!