As a Mommy,  As a Mrs.

Forty and Fatherhood

In celebration of today being my husband’s 40th birthday AND Father’s Day, I felt it only right to hand over the computer to him for a guest author blog post.  Enjoy his personal insight in turning 40 and being a father.

Hi there, TherapeuticMiles Husband here. I’ve never written a blog post, but I decided to take my wife’s offer and take a stab at it.

Remember being a teenager and wanting to grow up? I couldn’t wait for adulthood! No more exams, research papers or applications to ____ institution of higher education. Like me, you probably thought it was so cool to have a car and to be able to buy whatever you wanted without parental oversight. At that age, I thought 40 was old. Old as in seasoned adult, over-the-hill, start-planning-retirement old. Today, on June 18, 2017, I am 40 years old. Contrary my former perspective on the milestone, I feel like I’m at the peak of my powers, so to speak. I’m stronger (from a long distance running standpoint), and wiser (way more mature and definitely more knowledgeable) than my younger versions. While I don’t feel old, I do feel that this age is a halftime marker (I love using sports metaphors). In this post, I’ll reflect on what how it feels to be 40 and what lessons I’ve learned that will prepare me for the next 40 years.

Lesson one: Don’t live in the past. It’s easier said than done. I’m an overly analytical person and with that mentality, it’s easy to live with regrets. What if I had opened this door instead of that one? Did i make the right decision to get married at age 37? Did we make the right choice on our house (“Mortgage is too damn high!”- Jimmy McMillan voice)? These questions and others only serve to distract you from the very real present which deserves my full committment and attention.

Lesson two: Your legacy is taking shape. Whether we acknowlege it our not, we will be outlived by the memories we leave behind. The lives we impact, the books we’ve written, our career accomplishments all help to shape this thing called legacy. As I take stock of life at 40, I’m certainly more conscious of my mortality. There’s only so much time left. Us Christians take comfort in the life that awaits in the great beyond, but most of us are not in any great hurry to leave. Thoughts of life after death prompt another important question: How do I want to be remembered? Hopefully I’ll be remembered as a giver, a good friend and a kindhearted individual. While not a man of great means, I subscribe to the stewardship metaphor when it comes to the possessions we accumulate. We have been dealt a certain hand and fortune has favored some more than others. Those of us who are blessed are put in positions to  provide help for our fellow humans who are in need. For a relatively short while, we are only we managing our gains/accumulations/talents.

Lesson three: Family first. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to made was to marry Carolyn. Like many men, I battled with relationship anxiety (aka committment-phobia). Relationships were expendable. Time was on my side. Live for today! Until I met Carolyn. Ours was an unconventional courtship which led us to where we are today: happily married with two dogs, an energetic toddler and a second little one on the way. Life has boiled down to this simple truth: my most important role is that of husband and father. My most meaningful legacies will be the children I am blessed to raise with Carolyn.
Today is also Father’s Day. Being a father is definitely a labor of love.  For those who are experienced dads with adult children, I salute you for making it through. My admiration of my own father has only deepened after experiencing all that this role entails. Dad, I love you.

For those who are about to embark on the journey or just starting out, keep in mind that despite all the sacrifices you will make (sleep, social time, money etc.), it is very gratifying in the end.  And remember that poop happens, get used to it.

As long as I keep these lessons in mind, the next 40 years should go smoothly. Time may no longer be on my side and it does seem to move a bit faster as one ages. Consciousness of the ephemeral nature of our earthly existence further reinforces the importance of living well the moments we have left.

P.S. Shout-out to my friend Ravi for the custom bday shirt.
Lesson Four: When you start losing tone and gaining the dad-bod from lack of time to work out… just wear tighter shirts.

–TM Husband