Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Confessions of a 41-Year Old

This summer I’ll have been married to Katie for 17 years.
We have 7 children.
I am part-owner of my own business.
And I work as a sales director at another burgeoning company.
I have a mortgage and I pay HOA fees.
I own three cars, a lawnmower, and four suits.
I’m an active member of my church, where sometimes people even seek out my opinion.
I frequently tell people, "We should do lunch."
And earlier this year, I ordered (via phone) chocolate-covered fruit for a dear friend in Chicago when she had a baby.

I’m 41 on Saturday, and on paper, I am unequivocally an adult.

And yet.

Sometimes, when I am sitting quietly in my office, and my mind begins to wander, I half-expect some sharp-dressed, nameless man – like those guys in The Adjustment Bureau – to walk in on me. A file under his arm with my name on it, he states in an almost monotone manner, “Mr. Craig? I knew we’d catch up with you. We’re not sure how you managed to bluff your way through for so many years, nor how you found a way to snow so many people – but the jig is up. You’re not a grown-up. And I’m going to have to ask for your Respectable Citizen’s Card.” Then he tears it up in front of me…and sends me to my room to think about my behavior and what I've done.  (Later, he’ll come up to my room to reassure me that he’s not angry…just disappointed.)

Perhaps this sounds silly to you. But here’s the thing: If I stood up to this mysterious fellow, I’m not sure I have enough evidence to prove my grown-up-edness.

Some of this uncertainty may stem from being raised in a home where my dad declared loudly and repeatedly, “I know everything.” And I was pretty sure he did. I concluded at an early age that he had it all figured out. Whatever hardship or surprise came at him, he seemed to handle it with great aplomb.

I don’t have the same mantra as my dad…but oddly, I think my kids would tell you the same thing about me. “Oh, yeah. My dad has it all goin’ his way. And he knows everything. Or, if he doesn’t, he can figure it out pretty quick. Or make it up. Or make fun of it so it seems unimportant.”

It really boils down to two areas. First, I still tend to make some shockingly immature choices, despite my age. And second, while there are a number of things that make this world go ‘round, I’m not sure I have a firm grasp on how any of them work.

But I count my marriage as the greatest success story of my life. My relationships with my children are profoundly rewarding and fulfilling to me. I am convinced I know some of the greatest people to grace this planet, and I get to call them ‘friends’. And I am optimistic that if I try to align my will with God’s, that life will continue to mold me into something better than I am.

So, looking at my calendar, I should probably be an adult by age 50.

(Huh, that was a bit more of an introspective post than I had planned. I guess that's what happens when those sharp-dressed nameless fellows leave you in your room for far too long, thinking about your behavior.)


Matt A said...


John Teal said...

Only question, why do you have to be a grown up ;)

Ken Craig said...

I like where your head is at, John.