I turned 20 years old less than a week removed from finishing my second year of college. I had a summer job working at the North St Paul 7-11 (right before all 7-11s were sold to the company that runs Super America) but had this particular night off to celebrate my official exit from the teens. A group of us went to the Heartthrob Cafe in downtown St Paul, located on the corner of Wabasha and 7th. I was the last in our group to become a "twenty-something", so it felt good to be moving on from teenage angst.
I celebrated the big 3-0 on a Monday. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of a week-long business trip to Chicago so I couldn’t be with friends and family. I think I ordered room service that evening and then checked my personal voice mail to find I had several “happy birthday” greetings! My gal and I had been engaged for a few months at the time and I was bummed we couldn’t be together on that special occasion.
I take those little trips down memory lane because today is the day I reach yet another milestone birthday. I’m told forty is the new 30. Whatever. All I know is that chronologically I was born forty years ago today. That’s right, I’m 40 years old. FORTY!!! The big Four Oh. No matter how often I say it, it still doesn’t resonate. I guess what really blows me away is when my Dad turned 40 he had four kids, ages 15, 13, 11 and 8 (my wife and I are still working on number one). And my paternal Grandmother was two months away from being a grandparent when she hit that magical age.
Some may even refer to this time in my life as “middle-age.” Not to worry, though. I’m not about to buy a Corvette or start donning a toupee. All I know is that with each passing year life has gotten better and better, especially over the past decade. So I can safely say that I will fully embrace a half-century once it comes along.