Them: “Hey E, What did you do for your 40th birthday? …”
Me: “I went to work”
I wanted to sit down and write a well thought-out reflective piece that would get lots of oohs and ahhs on this the eve of my 40th journey around the sun but … nah. The time structure that my life has me on doesn’t allow for that so I think I just may throw these words up against this blank canvas and see if they are coherent and make any sense.
This is 40 … I’m not the getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-use-the-bathroom-to-pee old but I am the I-ain’t-gonna-play-basketball-without-stretching-old. Also of note: this is the year prostate gotta get checked … pray church.
So I remember clowning dudes around the age of 40 on the basketball court when I was younger. Now I wish I had a time traveling machine so I could go back in time and smack my 16 year old self with a open hand full of baby powder.
I never took much thought as to what 40 would look like on me but I tell you one thing, its gray, like really gray. (Referring to my hair for those of you in the cheap seats.)
Over the past few years I’ve noticed that I’m now very emotional and can be easily moved to tears over something happy or sad. It’s crazy cause I used to make fun on my Grandfather for being like that but I am the same way now. Life really has a sense of humor. … Hey look a flower! .. *tear*
This is what 40 looks like.
My routine is that I iron both my kids uniforms at night before bed. I make our bed every morning out of habit. My wife really has me trained on that. My son can dress himself but I still wake him up, cover him with prayer and help him as he gets ready. I prepare dinner and help with homework on most nights. My wife and I switch off on bath nights and certain cleaning duties because that’s what works for us.
I work 40 hours a week in the Fulton County School system, and give extra time each week to work with some young boys helping them make sense of this game called life through the lens of a black male. I have two media brands that I’ve started which requires me to cover sporting events and host a radio show on Sundays.
My plate is full bruh.
Life is good though.
This is what 40 looks like.
Still amidst all these blessings there are numerous goals that I have yet to achieve. I’m still recovering from some bad decisions and learning how to handle the bad breaks life sometimes tosses my way. Negative self-talk is a thing (like a really big thing) and it’s natural to do that when looking back, especially during milestone birthdays. Convos usually go like this.
Life: Happy Birthday !!
You: Aww thanks man.
Life: You know you still ain’t nothing because you haven’t done this, and now you about to be 40 and you still haven’t accomplished this and blah blah blah … (throw in about 4 more negative things that may in fact be true)
You: … Ummm ok
You walk away not really believing that trash, but lokey, you be believing that trash.
As I look back I see some wrong turns, unfinished tasks and at other times I also see where God really looked out for a brotha. Reality is that you are never as happy as you appear on social media platforms. People don’t usually log on to Facebook and be like “hey guys I have $36 in my bank account, my house is dirty, my car needs service and my kids are driving me nuts.” That ain’t the move most of us play.
Honestly speaking I still have some questions about life and insecurities.
I have this uncanny talent with the pen and how I paint pictures through words and I honestly don’t know what or how God wants me to use this gift. There are things I want to accomplish professionally and financially but sometimes you have to wait for the preparation and opportunity to seamlessly coexist.
There is a balancing act of giving yourself credit for your accomplishments and managing your ambitions that always remain constant. Some days are good, others are not.
That’s the game … That’s life.
It feels really good here on cloud #40. There are discussions that I have completely retired from and this has kept my blood pressure low and my spirit happy. Here are a few but not all of the things I won’t go back and forth with you ninjas about in the year of our Lord 2019.
White Americas creation of the legitimacy of Donald Trump
Lebron James being a top 3 player of all-time and he ain’t 3.
Black on black crime
Waffles >> Pancakes .. except on Sunday.
Obamas tan suite not being fire
NBA being rigged.
Bill Cosby’s innocence
We not fixin to debate that Kangaroos are the scariest animal on the planet.
Lil Kim’s verse on All about the Benjamins still flames.
Feel free to take one of those topics and just decide to not argue about them for the rest of your life. I guarantee life will be a little sweeter.
So what is 40?
40 is imperfect, .. 40 is comfortable, .. 40 is a mixture of wisdom and ignorance .. Hopefully the wisdom outweighs ignorance. 40 is about living your best life and getting the thumbs up that your prostate is all good. 40 is telling folks in their 20’s “they don’t know nothin bout this song young playa.” 40 is the realization that you know something but you definitely don’t know everything and you’re cool with that.
Thanks to the man upstairs as I start this 41st journey around the sun. Still learning how to juggle the items that make up this thing called life.