I turned 39.5 this week so I made a list of 39.5 things I still think are awesome

I turned 39.5 this week so I made a list of 39.5 things I still think are still awesome

The other day Cindy kindly informed me that in 6 months I’ll turn 40.

“You’re officially 39 and a half!”

Like a piece of pound cake before bed, the thought sank and sat in my stomach long into the night.

I mean–how did this happen? How did a carefree, freckled-faced 20 year old become a 39.5 year old man strapped with children and a job and an chronic illness?

My wife’s passing comment was a moment of personal realization– the image of myself was different than what others saw.

If the average life expectancy is 79 years old, and you’re 39.5– things get momentarily serious. The glass coastered on the coffee table is suddenly half empty.

What’s weird is when I was 20 I never though I would turn 40 and now that I’m almost  40 it’s not what I expected. I thought I would be more mature, more certain, more established. I mean–I’ve now been teaching longer than some of my students have been alive and yet I still have so much to learn about teaching.

But I’m not angry or bitter or scared.

Behind every strand of silver hair has a silver lining. I enjoy aging and learning new ideas, new perspectives, and realizing how little I know about everything. Yet at the same time, I do know that I have little patience or time I have for complaining, victimization, children who act like adults, or, more importantly, adults who act like children.

I realize that at 39.5 there’s only one thing to do– and that’s get on with living. And I have little time for things that are not awesome.

So to celebrate my half birthday I would make a list of things of things that, for 20 years, have proven their worth, their youthfulness.

Here is a list of 39.5 things I thought were awesome 20 years ago and I think are still awesome today.

1. people who are passionate about their passions 

2. spinach

3. buffalo wings

4. irony

5. poster of musicians

6. BBQs

7. the ’67 Mustang

8. open roads

9. tailgating sporting events

10. laughing

11. writing

12. using the word awesome

13. exercising

14. telling jokes

15. high fives

16. embarrassing your friends in public

17. games of chance

18. Seinfeld

19. storm clouds

“Storm clouds” courtesy of and taken by Mary S..

20. music playlists

21. analyzing music lyrics

22. hot coffee

23. cold beer

24. people who enjoy learning

25. people who ask thoughtful questions

26. people who listen

27. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

28. pranks

29. fantasy football

30. stand-up comedy


32. people who say please

33. any song off the Third Eye Blind “Red” album

34. The Things They Carried

35. gratitude

36. when your favorite song comes on the radio (especially because I rarely listen to music on the radio anymore)

37. snow days

38. the sky at dusk

39. a quiet dinner

39.5 a half day of work

No matter your age–remember you only have time for awesome things.

And please leave all the non-awesome things to the fools who think they have all the time in the world.

Be awesome.

Be well,


Here’s an excerpt from this past Monday’s post Perspective: To Grow in Soul

Opinions are perspectives and perspectives change with age and experience and geography and sometimes a beer.

In a noisy world we need to know that working on our perspective, developing new perspectives, and adopting other perspectives determines the attitude by which live.

We must respect the limitations of our own perspectives yet we must be willing see every opposing belief, every conflict as an opportunity to grow in perspective.

To grow in soul.

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