I know this is a real estate blog, but I’m straying a bit off-topic this time. Monday was my birthday, and I turned 41. Over my life, I have had different emotions about my birthday. When I was younger, I don’t think I really liked the attention, thought it was all kind of silly. Now, especially with the social media component, I pretty much spend the entire day in stitches laughing at all the funny things my friends have to say.
I have to tell you, I loved being 40. It was a fantastic year. The other night, as my wife and I were in the living room one, just catching up and talking, I told her I was wrapping up my best year ever. She started laughing and asked where that came from. I told her it just was. Here are a few reasons why.
1. I didn’t spend much time in “Woe is me, I’m 40” mode. As a rule, that kind of thinking has never worked for me.
2. I quickly came to the realization that at 40, you’re essentially qualified and sufficiently credentialed to make a run at most any accomplishment. The excuse of youth, lack of experience, or lack of relationships comes off the table. Not that this isn’t the case at every stage of your life, but I certainly felt entirely accountable for what was happening in all phases of my life.
3. You’re several moves into the chess match when you hit 40. And although I realized that any accomplishment is possible, reflecting on being 40 made me also realize that you’re closer to doors closing on opportunities. The time has passed to play quarterback for the Cowboys. How many more election cycles could you be a mayor / governor / president, if x, y, and z came into place? That kind of thing.
4. You get to play multiple roles, still, at 40—young guy at times, oldest person in the room at others. I enjoyed inserting myself into a range of situations where I could be one or the other. There’s a lot to learn from both roles.
5. I focused on relationships—deepening existing ones and making new ones. Because both are fun. And I discovered my family comes together best when we go somewhere together.
6. I felt a bit wiser, like I knew how to handle things and understood how to act (in advance, and not just in retrospect).
Random RealPoints post, I know, but that’s how I saw 40.
Jon Altschuler is a partner at Altschuler and Co. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.