Last week I turned 39 years old. A few people pointed out that next year will be the big four-oh, but I see more significance in this birthday as a milestone delineating the portions of my time on earth.
Halves: if I have a typical lifespan, this moment is just about the halfway point of my life! That striking observation has me taking stock of things.
I hesitated to write this as many of my friends reading this are older than me and it implies that their lives are mostly over. But me not writing it doesn’t change that. It feels right to me to acknowledge the finitude and preciousness of life, whatever age one is.
Thirds: this accounting neatly renders my life into three acts of twenty-six years each. Which works out perfectly in my case: I had my first child at 26 years old and my youngest child will become a legal adult when I’m 52.
That makes a third of my life without children; a third of my life as a parent of young, at-home children; and a third of my life with adult children. This midpoint of my life is also the halfway mark of me having children at home.
Quarters: a quarter of this life would be nineteen-and-a-half years. That interval coincides with the two biggest lifestyle changes I’ve made, both related to diet.