Lessons for Turning Forty

by james mathias / 2014 / personal

I’m having an emotionally difficult time coming to terms with turning forty. The number looks so large to me.

Lu, my love, my partner, my best friend said to me one night. “You earned those years. Be proud of that!” I’m not sure I would have made it this far without her, in fact I know I would not have.

So in honor of her standing by my side all these years (no easy task), I’m going to use this fortieth year of my life to really understand me, to love me, to learn what makes me tick and why.

I love dance. I love it. When I see others doing it, even poorly it fills me all the way up to the top, with joy. When I do it, I feel better, fuller, whole. I’m not good at it, but it doesn’t even matter, it’s about connection, movement and happiness.

James Mathias 10 January, 2014

Magic. The art, the performance, everything about it. It makes my inner child cheer, and I become just the right amount of gullible necessary to really, truly enjoy it.

If you can choose my card from a deck of cards, I honestly wonder how you did it. It’s a beautiful art.

James Mathias 10 January, 2014

I really dislike the inevitable part of the story in romantic comedy movies that forces the two leads apart, because of a lame misunderstanding. I cannot bear it. It twists my guts all up.

James Mathias 11 January, 2014

I deeply, respect and admire any person that stands rock solid by a belief or belief system, without waiver or compromise. On the other hand, I have precious little tolerance for those that say they are acting in the name of God, but don’t follow the same advice they are sharing.

James Mathias 11 January, 2014

I adore watching craftsmen do their thing. When someone really knows what they are doing, and can show others. It’s amazing. It’s a mixture of skill, confidence and humbleness that is hard to find in this world.

I aspire towards it myself, as much as I can. Good examples include Norm Abrams and Bob Ross.

James Mathias 13 January, 2014

Sometimes I’m misunderstood, and I don’t have the words to better explain myself, and that is OK.

James Mathias 16 January, 2014

I’ve yet to regret my choices, but often I’ve regretted my behavior.

James Mathias 19 January, 2014

No matter how long or well you know someone, they can still surprise you, which is both good and bad.

James Mathias 20 January, 2014

For all my life, I’ve believed that my drive to be a craftsman, to be the best I can be at whatever I do, came directly from Norm Abrams and Bob Ross. Growing up, I was so impressed and fascinated. I had to be like them.

In High School, when other kids watched me draw, rapt with attention, I felt that feeling for the first time.

Today, I realized that even before Norm and Bob, there was a another craftsman in my life, that cared about what he put his name on, and not just the final product, but how he got there. He was right there, and I overlooked him, cause he was right there.

My dad laid floors for almost his entire adult life, and he put his all into those jobs, it was important for him that it was done right the first time, and that the customers never saw the seams.

He had this magic, the same TV magic Bob and Norm had, he’d make those seams disappear, and he’d turn 10 feet of carpet into 12. He was the first craftsman I ever watched, and he was the most important.

I miss him.

James Mathias 20 January, 2014

Sometimes people are wrong. It’s not my job to correct them.

James Mathias 30 January, 2014

I need to practice being happy with what I have, instead of yearning for what I don’t.

James Mathias 7 February, 2014

You can trade ninety minutes on a Sunday for seven days of healthy, properly portioned, heat ‘em up meals.

James Mathias 9 February, 2014

I don’t always have to “stay strong” for the sake of others. It’s OK to be/feel weak or vulnerable any time I need to.

James Mathias 20 February, 2014

not unlike politics and religion, butt cracks is a topic best not broached on ye ole Farcebook.

James Mathias 12 March, 2014

Making promises is easy. Keeping them is the hard part.

James Mathias 25 May, 2014

Negativity breeds sadness, positivity makes everything tolerable.

James Mathias 9 June, 2014

I don’t like being alone. I’ve never lived alone, and honestly I don’t think I could. Alone is a scary place to be, or maybe I just like company.

James Mathias 31 December, 2014

My job is to be an artist and a good artist is ridiculed.

Ethan Hawke circa 2016