My brother is a dude. He does not drive a minivan or a sedan or wear Dockers or listen to Dave Matthews. He doesn't go to the office or commute or write reports or watch power point presentations. Instead, he makes a good living in a job that allows him to wear cargo shorts. His shoes are red. He has floppy bleach-blonde hair and a bike that he rides to the beach. He drives a Honda Element so he can haul his gear in the back. And he has 1500 albums on his IPod. That's albums, people, not songs.
And today.......he turns 40 years old. He is an icon for "40 is the new 30."
Supposedly, turning 40 no longer means that teenagers roll their eyes at us. We're not divorced from the mainstream culture, destined to live out the rest of our days like it's perpetually 1992, listening to our U2 albums while the world moves forward without us. So we look cool and listen to new music and go to concerts that rattle our teeth. Just like people a decade younger than we are.
But you know what we didn't give up? The street cred that comes with 20 years of adulthood. We are the ones who have arrived. We are the mentors. We know the answers without looking in the back of the book. Our path is the one that 30 year olds follow, at top speed, so they can continue to climb and eventually arrive at the pinnacle.
Those of you in your 40's are now saying "What pinnacle? I didn't get a pinnacle."
That's because the pinnacle can be really subtle.
And when you got there, you relaxed and opened your mind to the unknown possibilities. And you've already started making new paths that don't so much climb as create. The post-40 path creates new opportunities that may or may not be related to the path you forged in your 30's. And you're ok with this because you now have the wisdom to know that the end result is not a specific place or position or income level.........but, instead, it's a culmination of experiences that shape your happiness. It's a swirling vortex rather than a pin on a map.
And, because you're 40, you just relax into it and reap the rewards. While the 30 year olds, with their wishing and grasping and forward-only propulsion, covet your confidence and poise and your "I'm ok / You're ok" outlook.
Because you've stopped wishing and grasping and you've found your rhythm. You're trusting that the groove knows where to go. The needle has to follow the groove or the music won't play; fighting the groove only scratches the record.
Don't worry, you're still going somewhere........it's just not in a straight line. And when the groove ends, you flip the record over and listen to side 2.
40 rocks my world, dude. Welcome it properly and it won't disappoint.