Forty – One

In your 30s, you’re having a lot of varied experiences. You’re scrambling. You’re putting pieces in place. In your 40s, those pieces start to coalesce into knowledge about who you are and how life works. ~ Suzy Welch

by Pete Ferguson

This past year has been a great year. I left 30s behind and embarked on 40.

Always the over achiever, I had scheduled my mid-life crisis early so as to get it out of the way. I went through the whole job/career/following my passion thing around 37 – so when I finally hit 40, I was in a good place.

A year ago today I was in top physical shape, and I’ve greatly enjoyed it. Rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, jogging, canoeing, white water rafting, hiking, and getting back into honing my skills on the gun range all fell within about 14 months.

I allowed weight to come back on – and I’m finding that it doesn’t peel off so easily now. But overall I wake up feeling good and can tackle just about anything I want to.

I’ve read great books, chased my dreams, dreamt some more.

People in their forties have a greater sense of self, for better or worse. Superficial people are more clear that that is what they are and deep people are easier to spot too. ~ Naomi Wolf

In my 30’s I had two years where I racked over 100,000 miles in the air, stepping foot on many countries in Asia and throughout Europe. I was checking off bucket list items monthly.

And the grand conclusion to all of this searching is that I love being at home, with my family, reading, writing, and hanging out all the while planning new adventures together.

Thankfully this knowledge didn’t cost me a divorce as many of my friends have endured. Or a heart attack or anything else serious.

A good therapist is always recommended to understand why one does as they do. We have a great one who’s goal was for us to become each other’s therapists. Much cheaper and more rewarding. Also takes trust and intimacy to a whole new level.

I absolutely loved turning 40– it didn’t feel awful to me- it felt like coming into my own … I felt as if 40 meant I was finally wise enough to give advice and be taken seriously but still young enough that the world offered the upward trajectory of possibility. ~ Lee Woodruff

I’ve always been of the mind that life should not have regrets. Take your lumps, learn from them – but never regret them. Just do your best to not make the same mistakes twice. Something I’m still working on.

Forty-one is a good number.

For Noah’s family – it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. But then it stopped on the 41st day.

On the 41st year, after many years of wandering lost, the Israelites entered the promised land.

In astrology, apparently 41 is very significant … maybe you can read this post and tell me why :-). It’s all over my head, but I’ll take what I can get.

[Another way of interpreting 41 is to separate the 4 from the 1. The numeral 4 equates to a brick, which has four sides. Bricks are used to withstand a lot of pressure and stress; The numeral 1 represents new beginnings, new steps.] ~ English, B. (2006, May 17). Seeking meaning behind 41. The Boston Globe.

No matter how you look at a number, the most important number is representative of where you are today. That’s your number. Your opportunity to make a difference. Your new beginning.

But I’m waxing too poetic. I’m not really 41 until 12:49 pm. So I’ll go back to bed and enjoy my nine hours of being 40!


4 thoughts on “Forty – One

  1. I am now, according to my significant other, ‘pushing fifty,’ and have felt the way you describe for perhaps the past five years rather than the past ten. But it does take time to get a handle on the world. Whilst I respect the work of younger writers, I feel that it takes longer that a score or so of years to make sense of the world and write prose accordingly. Hell, the world still baffles me sometimes. We never stop learning, do we?
    And a quote to finish;
    ‘Growing old is knowing all the answers, but no-one is asking you the questions.’

  2. Very nice. Happy Birthday son. Proud of you. Love, Dad

    PS: stepping foot on many countries in Asia and a few in England.

    Can’t visit countries in England. Maybe “stepping foot on many countries in Asia and England as well.

    Sent from my iPhone I have now relocated to Shanghai where I am serving as the interim library director at NYU’s new Shanghai Campus. Please use my new email address:

  3. Pingback: Allowing Room for Time | learnactshare

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