educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom

I’m Finally XL

Today is my 40th birthday.

They say 40 is the new 30.  The truth is that, although I’m not in horrible health, I was in my best shape 10 years ago.  As far as looks, however, I’ve still retained my youthful glow (must be all the sleep and facial moisturizers…yeah right).

I’m definitely wiser than I’ve ever been…and extremely humble as well.  In fact, I’m so humble, I’m going to share the spotlight and give you a list of other beautiful people who turn 40 this year along with me.

Turning 40 this year are:

  1. Idris Elba (my wife’s future ex-husband)
  2. Gabrielle Union (my future ex-wife)
  3. Thandie Newton (my other future ex-wife)
  4. Ben Affleck (current husband of Jennifer Garner)
  5. Jennifer Garner (current wife of Ben Affleck)
  6. Gwyneth Paltrow (current ex-girlfriend of Ben Affleck)
  7. Alyssa Milano (has never been a girlfriend of Ben Affleck)
  8. Tracee Ellis Ross (not Ben Affleck’s girlfriend, but she was the lead actress on “Girlfriends”)
  9. Persia White (actress also from the show “Girlfriends”)
  10. Sofia Vergara (she wishes that she was my girlfriend)
  11. Eminem (angry rapper who used to love his girlfriend)
  12. Common (not so angry rapper who “Used to Love H.E.R.“)
  13. Shaquille O’Neal (NBA power dunker who won his basketball championships with L.A.)
  14. Lisa Leslie (1st woman to dunk in the WNBA; also won basketball championships with L.A.)
  15. Jill Scott (amazing soul singer who can’t dunk or play basketball with L.A.)

Here are some of the very important companies turning 40 this year:

  1. HBO
  2. Atari
  3. Popeyes Louisiana Fried Chicken Restaurants

Alright…enough of all this.  Back to me now.

The thing that dominated the past year was my 40 by 40 list.  Of the forty tasks on the list, I completed 18½ items.  Many of them were taking way too long to complete (like finding my father, or paying off all credit cards and loans).  Some of them required a lot more practice than I could give it (like learning to play a non-piano instrument, or shooting 20 consecutive free throws).  And other items simply escaped me because of poor planning (like riding in a helicopter, going to the U of R homecoming, watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, or trying out the water sports on Catalina Island).

Overall, I am proud of myself for completing some of the things I did. Reading a novel per month greatly improved my reading speed (for example, in the month of October alone, I re-read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and I read non-fiction books The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, and Letters to a Young Brother by Hill Harper). Without the list, I would still have procrastinated on getting a complete physical exam, I probably would have never heard my wife sing at the House of Blues in Hollywood, and I would have never met NFL great (and Azusa Pacific University alum) Christian Okoye at a 5K race.   And even though I haven’t found my father, looking for him led me to find some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles from my father’s side of the family that I haven’t spoken to in years.

The past 40 years have been nothing short of fantastic.  The person to whom I owe the most thanks for those 40 years is my amazing mother.  I was born a few months after my mother graduated high school in south central L.A., and I’m grateful that she helped to turn me into a success instead of a statistic. I’m forever thankful that God blessed me with her as a mother.

A lot of who I am today is also because of my wife Tara.  Since our first date in January 1998, she has taught me a lot, and as much as I love myself, I don’t know if I would’ve tolerated me if I was married to me (you know what I’m trying to say.)  She has enriched my life and she gave me two beautiful sons who have enriched my life even more.

Okay…Right now it’s 8:45am and I’m going to enrich my belly with some breakfast and enjoy my birthday.


One comment on “I’m Finally XL

  1. Rufina
    November 14, 2012

    Happy Belated Birthday Robert! I think you have had great success with your 40×40 list. Plus the fact that you have maintained a very entertaining blog, have a happy household, and that you both enrich and are enriched by your wife and sons. Well done! Cause for Celebration!! Cheers!

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2012 by in 40 by 40 and tagged , , .

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Soulquarian Quote of the Day

"There is no hip hop manual for growing old...The 22-year-old college grad who used to love the Roots in 1994 never left. He’s just 40 now and has a wife and kids and doesn’t feel like spending all night at a club."

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