I'll be forty in two days.
Looking over the sweep of it, I am struck by the rapid changes that have taken place in short periods of time, and those longer periods of stasis. It is like the theories of evolution; gradual versus sudden. When I have changed, it has been sudden and dramatic.
Some numbers stick out as major ground swells: 18, 21, 27, 29, 32, 36, and even 39. At each of these ages, life's sudden and implacable pull toward transformation made me something that I am no longer. Perhaps it was a move, or an illness, or a publication, or a child born, or a major unsettling emotion that came and would not depart.
Perhaps my 40s will be the decade when I let my anger (at what? at whom? who owes me anything?) abate? Perhaps it will be the time when I break the switch of my inherent judgementalist stance. Who am I to judge? What I have done that warrants a high and mighty attitude toward people?
If the embrace of HaShem means anything, it means placing myself in the place where I belong. It means taking it all as all: the pain, joy, the shortcoming and accomplishments. They are all me. I own them all. No one else is to blame. No one else can take credit.