i am 45

so here’s the deal: i love having a birthday. and i’m a big gifts guy, so that’s always fun. but i’m conflicted about turning 45 today — only nominally conflicted, but conflicted nonetheless.

turning 30 didn’t bug me at all — it was actually a really good thing. it gave me (i perceived, at least) more credibility with the parents of the teenagers i was working with.

turning 40 didn’t bug me at all. for whatever reason, it was all good.

but 45 brought these realizations this week:

– my life is, most likely, more than half over.
– my career is, most likely, more than half over.
– i’m shockingly close to 50; which means i’m surprisingly close to 60; which means i’m just not that far away from retirement.

yes, i realize that sounds a bit over-reactionary. and, really, it’s not like a mid-life crisis – i’m not about to buy a corvette and have an affair. really. i’m still totally going to enjoy the day today (my wife and kids have a whole surprise day planned for me — no idea what we’re doing, but i’m sure it will be awesome). and, of course, i’m only one day closer to the future than i was yesterday. i know all that stuff. 45 just feels… i don’t know… so solidly upper-middle-aged.

i’m working on a post about organizational life cycles (i’ll get it posted this week). in organizational life cycle theory, there are these nice little graphs, where the organization experiences growth through a variety of stages for a period of time. then the org reaches stability, which is a horrible place to be. stability is momentary stasis before beginning the downward slide through the decline of an organization (there are re-invention points, which i’ll write about in that post). but it feels like 45 is that “stability” point.

i’m making this all sound more dramatic than it actually is for me. i’ll just summarize this way: i’m excited that it’s my birthday; i’m not overly excited that it’s my 45th birthday. :)

14 thoughts on “i am 45”

  1. Happy Birthday Marko! Totally agree with the first comment. You are the youngest 45 year old I know… and everything you’ve done recently to drop the pounds and get in shape should make you proud of 45!

  2. Add me to the list of folks who thought you were younger than that! Heck, you’re almost my age (50). Your reactions sound very familiar to me. I had much the same reaction this year to the big 50. I’ve had many friends of greater antiquity than you or me tell me that they’ve enjoyed the post 45 years as much or more than those before.

    so enjoy that birthday and I hope you get lots of cool gifts.

  3. Happy birthday from the Moultons! (Yes, even from Liam)

    While I “know” that you are a few years older than me, there is a part of me that just doesn’t believe it. I have real trouble wrapping my brain around you being seven years older than me.

    Did “The Sadist” run a real age simulation with you?

  4. Have a great day being surprised and growing “more mature”! May JeannieO and the kidos make you giddy beyond your years today!

  5. Happy Birthday!! I love how your family does life together and look forward to reading about the creative way of celebrating that you guys will do. :)

  6. the only thing that scares me is turning 50, because I believe that is the age you are supposed to start having prostate exams… now that is scary

  7. Happy B-day Marko. Turning 30 was flat depressing for me… (as I am currently 30) but fortunately it was only a momentary experience due to GREAT friends who wanted to throw big parties to celebrate with me. I couldn’t stay depressed. I’ve never thought about 30 providing me with some credibility with parents. Of course, for you it may be a bit different as you were married by that time as well. All in all, its another year we’re blessed with. The best is yet to come… for both of us.

  8. Mike, I’m Eliab from argentina, I’ve been your translator in one of the workshops that you gave in mendoza on 2007. the one that you had like five translators. that was terrible. well, I was the shorter one.
    I just love checking out your posts, they’re great. every week, every day, you write something that helps a lot of people (like me) to make a re-view of life, and take desitions. there’s no cheaper helping-magazine than this one,haha, what a bargain this is.
    thank you for sharing with the world a part of your (so short) life (45 is nothing,and at the same time is a lot).
    you know, there’s a place named centralia in pensylvania, were its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005. as a result of a 46-year-old mine fire burning beneath the borough.
    two days ago was your 45 birthday,and let me tell you, that you’re life it’s like this hidden under earth fire that rashed with everything and everyone on that town, and took 46 years to do it. you’re doing that same thing on many, many, many teenagers and youth leaders life. and you’re only 45. Thank you so much.I wish you had a great birthday. gretings from argentina. eliab

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