Byrdmouse is a devoted husband and father that says what's on his mind even if no one else agrees with him.

In fact, especially if no one else agrees with him

Not Holding at 39

20110805-061353.jpgIt's rarely a problem at 9, or 19, but an interesting thing occurs at the 'other-9' ages. People think you just don't want to own up to how old you really are. In some ways it's like speeding, if we aren't up to the next whole number on the dial, we're 'only' going 74, or 79, not 'really' exceeding the posted limit. Guys aren't notorious for doing this (with age, they're bad about it with speeding) but from time to time they hold their age at the last 9 age. Women, however, do it with regularity. I know some women who are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their 29th birthday.

Females holding a 9 age has always seemed strange to me because in my mind's eye, after 18 they only have 2 ages, 18 and 21. If they are under 50, it's 18, over is 21. I suspect that my criteria may change in a few years when my wife nears 50, but since she's only 18 now there's no rush to change it. For as long as I've used this system of guessing women's age no one has ever told me I was wrong.

There are, as nearly always, many reasons why I am thinking on age. A few days ago I was talking with a guy who is a decade younger than me. As I'm leaving my thirties and he is entering them he asked me what I thought about the decade.

Of all the decades I've contemplated I don't believe I've ever contemplated one of my own. I've considered the 70s, the 80s, the 90s and even the 0s, but always in the terms of calendar years and not 10 of my own. I finished my Bachelor's (30), Graduate Certificate (32) and Master's degrees (33) all three in Civil Engineering in my 30s. Educationally my 30s were the culmination of a lot of learning as it included 75% of my parchments from institutions of higher learning. After my Master's the learning I have done has been self-taught, or on the job experiences and even the self-taught stuff has been more enlightening. I have learned the importance of learning how to learn and how to apply it in my 30s.

At 35 I passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam to become a licensed Professional Engineer, earning the pretentious initials PE after my name whenever I so choose to use them. Professionally I have grown enormously learning better how to interact with others be they clients, subordinates, peers, or politicians.

Looking back over the last 10 years I have grown immensely in my marriage, as a father, and in my faith. I have more faith than most who believe so adamantly in the principles of science and what can be proven. Oftentimes the two are counterproductive, yet in my life I have found ways to marry them up. I believe that my faith has grown more in the last 10 years then it did in the first 30.

Overall, my 30s have been good, and I look forward to my 40s. I look forward to spending more time with my wife and kids, I look forward to writing more, stressing about the vehicles less, and growing further in my faith.

But not yet. Right now, I'm only 39.

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