Living Like a 4-Year-Old at 40

Good afternoon from Westminster, MD!

Well, I am officially 40-years-old as of yesterday. When I was 20, this felt like a far away milestone I could barely see in the distance. Now, standing at the post, looking back to what has past and forward to what is to come, I realize it was really just around the corner. Life truly is like a mist. This is why we often fear these milestones–they remind us of how finite we truly are. However, we do not have to let this define us.

As I thought about how I want to live my 40th year, a thought popped in my head–I should live like my 4-year-old. I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. While there are many good elements to growing up and maturing, there is one attribute we often “grow out of” to our detriment. We lose our sense of wonder and sense of “anything is possible” in this life. We trade dreaming in for being pragmatic. It is not to say being pragmatic is bad, it is a necessary trait. The problem is we tend to let it push out our ability to see beyond our current reality.

This is why I want to be more like my kids. They constantly dream and see the possibility in life. They are not discouraged by the obstacles in front of them. In fact, they don’t even see them. This is the beauty of being a kid. At 40 years old, it is impossible for me to ignore the obstacles, but it does not mean I cannot see beyond them. It does not mean I cannot dream and believe, against all odds, they can be overcome. Does this make me naïve and ridiculously optimistic? Maybe, but I would rather live there than wonder what could have been.

So, here is to the next 40 years of living a little more like a – year-old. Living with ridiculous optimism, believing what seems impossible today could become reality tomorrow. Dreaming with a sense of wonder for what is ahead. I am sure I will be disappointed along the way, but I have a feeling the journey will be a lot of fun!

James Belt

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