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.