40 Thoughts on My 40th Birthday

I turned 40 today which means that I finally have an excuse for my crankiness and I also have the duty to share all of my gathered wisdom with an unsuspecting world. So here are 40 thoughts that no one asked for in no particular order.

  1. Life is short, shorter than you think.
  2. Parts of your short life will feel really, really long, try your best to endure as best as you can.
  3. Try to maximize as many moments as possible because moments add up to minutes, days, years and decades. You are ultimately a culmination of what you do in your collective moments.
  4. Listen to more music. It is a truly miraculous thing.
  5. Reading is never really a waste of time, but lots of other things are.
  6. Grace truly is amazing.
  7. There are very few things as powerful and meaningful as friendship. Be a good friend.
  8. Many things that cause anxiety at 20 seem foolish at 40. This probably means that many things that cause anxiety at 40 will seem foolish at 60.
  9. You have one body. Try to treat it as well as you can, but also enjoy what that body can do.
  10. That one body will change. Your standards for it will have to change too. But it can do remarkable things even when it is old.
  11. Eat different foods from what you are used to. Flavor is an outrageous gift of grace.
  12. Trying to be cool is really unfulfilling and ultimately pretty dumb and will keep you from so much joy.
  13. Drinking more water is good. Drinking as much water as the experts say will result in non-stop urination. I can’t imagine our forefathers subduing the earth if they needed the restroom/bush/cave every 19 seconds.
  14. Kindness is one of the most powerful and underused traits in the world.
  15. Money is a principality and power. It isn’t neutral. You either master it or it masters you. Learn to master it.
  16. People don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. Stop thinking about them thinking about you and just be free to actually think about them.
  17. When you do think about someone, reach out to them. Phone, text, mail, something. They might just need it.
  18. Marriage is messy and magnificent. If you get a crack at it, work really hard at it. Repeat daily forever.
  19. Try to be as honest as you can with your kids and hopefully they will try and be as honest as they can with you.
  20. Try not to distribute unsolicited marriage or parenting advice.
  21. Say “sorry” quickly whenever you can..
  22. Say “I forgive you” quickly whenever you can.
  23. You really have no idea what your life will entail 10 years from now. Seriously, no idea. Plan well, but accept that your plan will only go so far.
  24. Dancing is an embarrassing endeavor for most that should be freely engaged in anyway.
  25. Every human story is remarkable if you take the time to listen. There are no truly boring people, no matter how much they try to convince you with their exterior boringness.
  26. You are wrong about lots of things. You are also right about lots of things. Your quest is to figure out which ones are which and to not doubt the right ones and start to doubt the wrong ones.
  27. Be humble because you aren’t sure which ones you are right about and which ones you are wrong about.
  28. Professional sports are lots of fun to watch but really dumb to obsess over. It really is strange to let a game you didn’t play in impact your mood for a prolonged period of time.
  29. The world is really big. Explore new places.
  30. The world is small. Contact friends who live in another part of it.
  31. Technology is a powerful servant and a terrible master.
  32. Ditto for politics.
  33. Your kids will inherit your traits, especially your worst ones. Show them that you are working on those so that they will too.
  34. Take lots of photos, then put the phone down.
  35. Pray.
  36. Listen to old people. They are either really wise or pretty dumb, but you can learn from their gleanings either way.
  37. Hang out with young people. They will either change the world or destroy it, but you can be the sort of older encourager to them that you wish someone had been for you.
  38. Keep short accounts with people. If someone does well, cheer them on with all you have. If someone disappoints you, tell them before bitterness grows.
  39. Don’t feed online trolls. Don’t be an online troll.
  40. The claims of Jesus Christ are true, which means that God is real, just, kind, loving and full of grace to anyone who runs to him. Run to him.

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