Text -- 304-412-4065 Danny@DannyPettry.com

Danny here. It’s March 26th.

I’m 40-years-young now.


Here are my top 40 things on turning 40. (laugh aloud). Just kidding.

I’m only sharing four thought on turning 40.

These thoughts include:

  • Values
  • Journey
  • Gratitude
  • Perspective



1. Values

My personal values have changed over the years.

As a child, I valued playing and didn’t value books or learning.

I didn’t read a full book on my own until I was a senior in high school.

It was How to Win Friends and Influence People. 

As an adult, I think reading and learning is fun. I value learning.


Some values stayed the same over the years: like my family.


I was selfish as a child. I enjoyed receiving gifts, attention, games and fun. It was all about me, me, me.

I’m generous as an adult. I enjoy giving and providing more than receiving.


2. Journey

Aerosmith taught me an important lesson in their 90’s song, Amazing.

The lyrics are: Life is a journey, not a destination.

It’s not about arriving. Life just is.

Life’s journey is a lot like a song.

A song has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

There are spaces between the beats.

Eventually the song ends.

I teach mindfulness skills to children and teens.

Eckhart Tolle teaches us about the Power of Now in his amazing book with the same title.

It’s not about next. It’s about now. It isn’t about the next phase of life, always waiting for something. Enjoy the moment.




3. Gratitude

I’m a survivor.

I’ve lived through 1984, Y2K, 911, 2012, and currently I’m healthy in the age of the coronavirus.

The comment above has a touch of humor. Our new, younger employees don’t know what y2k was all about and they were too young to recall 911.

I am grateful for all the good things in life coffee, books, movies, friends, family, fun

I’m really glad my parent’s are still alive.

But being real: I have suffered losses as I’ve aged. We all have.

I’ve lost grandparents, friends, past relationships, pets passing away, had wrecks, dislocated shoulder, broke bones.

It’s cliché to say: Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

It’s like you can’t have the good (my wimpy Chihuahua Shadow) during my teens without the bad (him dying) during my early 20s.

I’m able to say now that I’m glad about past suffering. I think it’s made me a better man.

And was any of it really that bad? No it wasn’t.

I’ve provide services at a psychiatric hospital since 2002 for children and adolescents.

In comparison, I have had a very good life compared to many kids and teens who I provide services for.

I think of Clarence saying, “You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life.” I want to be more like good ol’ George Bailey over Mr. Potter any day.

I appreciate how wonderful and fragile life is. The universe has been here a long time.

I feel fortune to have the opportunity to take the good things in my life and give back to help others as a healer, educator, counselor, author, blogger, rec therapist.

Eternity and it will go on forever and yet, my life (and all or our lives) is just a second in the grand scheme of time.





4. Perspective

A person who is 7 foot tall sees the world a lot different from a person who is only 4 foot tall.

I look at things differently at 40 than I did when I was 10 or 20.

I have learned how to change my thoughts and reality in life.

I’m better at regulating my own emotions (coping with anxiety and depression).

I have better interpersonal skills than I did at 15 or 20.

I feel confident and mature as a 40-year-old man in ways I didn’t as a teen or younger adult.