March 19, 2009
— P. J. Easter @ 9:15 pm
Q: Dear Mr. Man,
I turn forty this year and I am starting to think I’m “over the hill”. How can I recapture my youth?
A: Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but attempting to recapture your youth is akin to Bobby Brown making a successful comeback. Sure, there are things you can do to ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. Physically there are lots of activities that we can do to maintain our vigor. Aside from the physical aspects, I personally prefer my life today than where I was nearly 20 years ago.
I’ve heard people say that “40 is the new 20”; I understand the spirit of that statement. However, I would counter that 40 is the new 40; which is a new kind of cool.
When I was in my early 20-somethings, life was crazy, confusing, and convoluted. I spent years trying to discover who I was and what I wanted and needed from life. Biologically an adult, but not truly a man. Full of mistakes and bad decisions, my 20’s were chaotic. I am fortunate in many ways; fortunate that I found my faith. Fortunate that Adi came into my life and helped stabilize me. This may not have been your experience, but it was very real for me.
Fast forward to now. At almost 40, life is creative, cultured, and cool. I am comfortable in who I am and what I believe. Adi helped me mature into manhood with her patience, tender strength, and support. My faith has grounded me. I am the father of two wonderful kids. A mentor and father figure of mine once told me he thought, “Life was ok. in my20’s. Then I turned 30. 30 was a great age for me, but things got really good around 40. Now I am in my 50’s and I feel like I’m on top of the world.” I didn’t understand when he first said this to me because I was in my 20’s.
Here is my Top 10 list of the “new kind of cool” I’m talking about.
It’s a “new kind of cool” to:
- Have faith in God and submit myself to a power greater than me.
- Have a wife to shower with adulation and to share my thoughts and fears and dreams with.
- Finding teaching moments when the boy and I play basketball (or any other activity)
- Know that I am the model my daughter looks to in order to know what type of man she will marry (even if she doesn’t know yet).
- Hear the heartbeat of my firstborn for the very first time through the ultrasound.
- Be the funniest guy in my house. My kids will laugh at almost anything.
- Learn someting new every day. And to share that knowledge.
- Have friends with the same values as you and aren’t afraid to correct you if you get off track.
- Serve others.
- To teach my kids to be respected for their work no matter what they may do for a living.
It’s a “new kind of cool” that many of you are choosing to man up each and every day in your own unique ways.
I like this new kind of cool. Do you?
Question: What is your “new kind of cool”?