January 24, 2010

40’s the New Awesome, and I’m Newly 40

Posted in Fun w/Photos tagged at 10:09 pm by Andrew

I turned 40 last month…and it was no big deal. I feel great, and Lord knows I look great. But any age that ends in zero is like New Year’s — an opportunity for self-reflection. So I self-reflected.

As you all know, I’m a humble realist…a worker bee…someone who achieves dizzying success on a daily basis but doesn’t seek accolades. (The accolades just naturally find me.) So to ponder this “turning 40” concept, I decided to seek out some peers…to learn from those who are walking my same path.

I interact every day with wonderful people in my age group. Mothers and fathers, friends and co-workers…salt-of-the-Earth souls who live life the right way…people who’ve shed delusions of grandeur and have tapped into simple happiness. So I decided to choose two such people…not so much as role models but as wingmen. People I can relate to. Fellow 40-year-olds who share my outlook and with whom I can share my thoughts.

I chose Brett Favre and Jennifer Aniston.

In addition to all of us being 40, I find I have a lot in common with Brett and Jennifer. And that’s the point — I don’t mirror everything they do, nor do they copy me 100%. We’re unique individuals with similar qualities.

If you’re not familiar with them, here are some photos:

Let’s start with Brett. Despite slowing down physically and needing more time to recover from our activities, we both continue to dominate athletically. I haven’t talked with him lately, because we’re both slammed at work, but it’s interesting to watch our careers arc in unison.

Brett’s tearing it up with the Vikings, and I’m with him every step. The only difference — he focuses on football, while I’m a multi-sport athlete. I was hitting my boys in stride throw after throw this weekend as they ran their posts patterns to the mailbox and fade routes to the sewer. And I pounded the strike zone all morning thowing BP to my 11 & under baseball team. I don’t know if it’s work ethic or love of the game that keeps me and Brett at the top of our game. It’s probably just exceptional talent.

As for Jenny…I have to laugh. Neither of us is particularly vain, which is fortunate, because it would be easy to get caught up in how beautiful we are. For both of us, life is about happiness, not attention. Granted, I’ve been happily married for 15 years while Jenny’s struggled with relationships, but that’s where I’ve been able to help her. And she helps me by keeping me abreast of the latest hairstyling trends. It’s a two-way street for Jenny and me — a strikingly gorgeous two-way street.

So if you’re approaching a milestone, I urge you to find a buddy…someone walking your same path. Maybe it’s the mail man, store clerk, or co-worker. But find a peer you can relate with…not aspire to.

Find your Brett and Jenny, and you too can age with the humble awesomeness that we have. Keep it real!

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