Goodbye 30s… Hello End of the Line

Turning 40 is scaryNext week I turn 40. That means this is the last weekend for me to enjoy in my 30s. Then it’s apparently all over. I officially step onto… The Hill.

To be honest, after having kids, my own birthday isn’t that big a deal anymore. I know the kids love celebrating, so I join in on that fun. But it’s not like I’m thinking about a day focused solely on me. Though I am looking forward to the cake and my wife’s birthday present. (The two of us are going to the city for an awesome sushi dinner and then off to see Spider-Man on Broadway!)

Funny to think that it’s been almost 20 years since I graduated college. I don’t feel old at all. Yes, the gut’s a little bigger. The hair’s definitely thinner. But I’ve never been happier in my entire life. I’ve got an amazing family that I just love spending time with. I’m running my own business (that’d be JoeShopping.com, only the friendliest coupons and deals site on the web), and doing loads of freelance writing. My wife and I have never gotten along better, understood each other so well and just been in complete sync with each other. I’ve actually spent more than half my life with her, come to think of it.

My new blogging buddy Kathy Radigan recently wrote about No Going Back. How her kids couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t want to go back and be 20 again. It’s a great read and I couldn’t agree with her more. I’m hitting the gym a few times a week these days and eating healthier. I’m communicating with so many new people thanks to social media. I’m just mentally and physically at a much better level in my late 30s than I ever was before.

At 20, life is all about fun. At 40, you certainly enjoy life, but you also really learn to appreciate it.

Last night I was digging through some of my old comic books, showing my youngest son Ryan the Avengers. He loved the movie and likes the characters. So I showed him the first few issues and how the Avengers found Captain America. His eyes widened, he asked tons of questions and was genuinely excited to learn more. It was a short moment, nothing spectacular. But to me, a mega comic book geek, it was a pretty darn precious moment. It’s the same when I play Pokemon cards with his older brother Jason. I’m continually amazed at how sharp and alert this kid is, knowing all the nuances of the game. And yes, he kicks my butt every time.

So no, I most definitely don’t wish I were 20. Or even 30. I welcome 40. Yes, life’s a lot tougher now, with more responsibilities, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not even that Lego Death Star I’m really, really, really hoping I get for my birthday.

19 Responses
  • Maryann @ Matthew's Puzzle
    June 1, 2012

    Funny, I took it harder when I turned 30 than I did when I turned 40. No biggie. I’m a better stronger person now!
    Maryann @ Matthew’s Puzzle recently posted..You Might Have Been To the AutismOne Conference if…My Profile

  • Robin
    May 31, 2012

    Happy pre-birthday, Andrew!!

    Better you than me! lol. 😉

    For me, my 20s were my 40s, my 30s now feel like my 30s, and I’m hoping that in my 40s my 20s can have their comeback! 🙂

    • Andrew
      June 1, 2012

      Hey, Robin! Thanks for the pre-bday wishes! But what if your 40s are really like your 70s though?

  • Sarah
    May 29, 2012

    Great post! I found I was having a mental break down inside myself when I turned 30. haha It’s not that I FEEL 30 or anything. It’s a number I always hated… The dreaded response to people, yes I am 30.

    But as far as my life is concerned, I would not change a thing. If being 30 means having what I have now, I’ll be 30 happily. Experience and the wisdom of age are good things. I totally understand. 🙂

    Happy Birthday! 🙂
    Sarah recently posted..Dirt and a really,nilly,silly old bearMy Profile

    • Andrew
      May 29, 2012

      Hi, Sarah! Thanks for the comment! And uh, if you’re acting that way at 30, just wait until you’re 40. 🙂

  • Cheryl@OntheOldPath
    May 29, 2012

    I understand the ‘no going back,’ I am a year behind you but fast approaching 40, and my how your perspective changes as time marches along. I have no desire to be 20 again, I only wish that I knew at 20 all the things I know now. Perhaps, that is why we have no desire to go back, time brings wisdom, knowledge, and life experience and you have to put in the time to reap those. Wishing you a fantastic birthday and perhaps some Lego, if not the Death Star perhaps the Millennium Falcon!
    Cheryl@OntheOldPath recently posted..Back to Eden Film and Gardening MethodMy Profile

    • Andrew
      May 29, 2012

      You nailed it, Cheryl! I’d love to have known what I know now when I was 20, but I definitely don’t wish to go back. Having way too much fun right now. Thanks for the birthday and Lego wish! 🙂

  • Erin Patrick
    May 29, 2012

    Great post, Andrew. And don’t you just love Kathy!? You know, 40 is the new 20! Life just seems to get sweeter and sweeter. I wouldn’t go back for anything either!
    ~Erin
    Erin Patrick recently posted..From the LackMy Profile

    • Andrew
      May 29, 2012

      Hi, Erin! Thanks for the comment. Yes, Kathy is just full of supreme awesomeness! If 40 is the new 20, does that mean 50 is the new 30? Sweet!

  • Alicia H
    May 29, 2012

    Happy Birthday I’m sure 40 isn’t all that bad. but if it can get you a lego death star that would be cool

    • Andrew
      May 29, 2012

      Hey, Alicia. Gee thanks. I hope it’s not “all that bad” too! 🙂 And yeah, I’ll get that Lego Death Star one day. Hopefully way before I’m 90!

  • Carla Barilá Karam
    May 29, 2012

    Andrew!! What a wonderful post!! I could not agree with you more… for me 20s were fun, 30s even better and my 40s eyeopeners! I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have! Happy {early} Birthday!!
    Carla Barilá Karam recently posted..Day 355 ~ "Kiss" {and} "Love"My Profile

    • Andrew
      May 29, 2012

      Thanks for the comment (and birthday wishes), Carla! Can’t wait to see what this next decade has in store for me.

  • Andrew
    May 26, 2012

    Hi, Lisa! Geez, I may have to pay Kathy a finder’s fee for all these new readers! Thanks for the comments and yeah, your body may slow down a bit but your overall life is just so much better, isn’t it? Thanks for the birthday wishes and yeah, as a huge comic book geek, I just can’t wait to see Spidey!

  • Lisa Weinstein
    May 26, 2012

    Also thanks to Kathy for sharing your post. I wrote of similar sentiments when I turned 47 in April. It seems the 40s are the best years. We are finally wise, we’ve gotten to the point where we are happy and set professionally – it’s a time to enjoy everything we’ve worked for! Enjoy your birthday and enjoy Spiderman! We saw it last year and loved it!!!
    Take care,
    Lisa

  • Keesha
    May 26, 2012

    I thank Kathy for sharing your post. I, too, will turn 40 this year, and am gearing up for it. Some things are strange like feeling much older than my (mostly high school and college) students. As a relatively young 40, I’m still way too old for certain clothes and music and way too young for other clothes and music. It’s like being an adult tween. One thing that I am feeling is that I don’t have to take certain treatment – I can speak up for myself. And hopefully that won’t lead someone else to stand up for themselves right back and slap me in the face.
    Happy Birthday!
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    • Andrew
      May 26, 2012

      Hi, Keesha! Thanks for the comments and an early Happy Birthday to you too! That’s a great way to phrase things: “adult tween”. I still feel and act young because I guess I’m just a big kid, but I know what you mean. And awesome on speaking up. Don’t worry, if someone slaps you in the face, just slap ’em right back!

  • Kathy Radigan
    May 26, 2012

    What a wonderful post and not just because you gave me such an awesome plug!!! Lol! Happy Birthday!! Sounds like a fun day you and your wife have planned and I’m sending good energy that you get the Lego Death Star!! Welcome to the big leagues!!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted..No Going BackMy Profile

    • Andrew
      May 26, 2012

      Hey, Kathy! Thanks. Your post definitely inspired me. And you should probably save your vibes, because that Lego Death Star is like $400! When I make my millions, that’ll be my first purchase. 🙂