Like seasons in a year, Daniel Levinson, author of ‘The Seasons of a Man’s Life”, points out that men tend to develop along a certain developmental timeline as well. He goes on to say that there are four seasons of a man’s life: spring, summer, fall and winter. Though the seasons are not chronologically based, there is some merit in defining them somewhat. So, think of the seasons of a man’s life as follows: spring (18-‐27), summer (28-‐40), fall (40-‐60) and winter (60+)
Project 40, then, is a blog catered to men who are most likely living in the fall season of their lives. This is the period in life when their capacity to influence their job, families and community is at an all time high. In a sense, thy have sewn their seeds in the spring and summer seasons and are now most likely able to yield a life of high productivity. More than that though, Project 40 is redefining what the image of a man in this season should look like. Think less of Clark Griswold and more of Don Draper from Mad Men.
I, on the other hand, am just at the beginning season of summer. I just turned 30, I have been married for seven years, I am the proud father of a three-year old and expecting another one within a few months. So, here is where I am at on journey.
I am just leaning the steep pressures men in the fall seasons of life hold and are expected to have mastered. A few years ago, my wife and I bought a house and now we are homeowners. Exciting, until I realize I am in debt to my mortgage lender (albeit at a great fixed rate) and wont be free from that payment until my winter years. I am realizing that I cannot pick up and go where the wind leads me. I now answer to various commitments and obligations. And from my perspective it can feel a tad overwhelming at times.
In this season of life, I am extremely critical of all of my decisions. While the spring was fun (and it was), I would rather work incredibly hard during the summer and early fall to enjoy the winter. So, every decision I make tends to be filtered through the lens of what impact it will make on my life during the later seasons. Not only that, I am wishing I had worked harder in the spring to set me up for further success in the summer season.
But the most pronounced truth I am learning is that some men don’t want to transition into the next season of life. I still run into high school buddies who talk about the same parties and the same life experiences that happened a decade ago. Then there are some men who are feeling the crisp winds of winter but choose to live as if they are in the summer or spring. No one can avoid aging, but doing it with class and production is an entirely separate issue.
But then again, what do I know-‐ I am working at my summer job.