Checking Our Life Progress at Age Forty

My online pastor, don’t trip, I also attend First Baptist in Pittsburg. As I was saying, a few Sunday’s ago Doctor Lance Watson of Saint Paul’s Baptist (Richmond, VA.) began a new sermon series.  The new series is entitled “Fortyish.”  The subject is as it sounds, people reflecting on their current status in life at the age of forty. Naturally, Dr. Watson looked at it from a biblical sense.

It started me wondering about my state of mind after turning Forty. First of all, I had my midlife crises in my early thirties. I had to close a thriving retail business because I didn’t have the collateral to get a business loan. With two kids and a wife, finding a career that had growth possibilities at home was a lost cause. After closing our retail outlet, I reasoned that my future was not in Milwaukee.

I was familiar with the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area. As a young soldier, I was once stationed at Fort Ord, outside Salinas and Monterey, CA.  From there I was assigned to Oakland’s Army Terminal to await a ship that took me to Korea. While there, I’d settled in so well, the Forty- Niners’ became my second favorite football team, after the Packers. Reluctantly my wife agreed, and we decided to move to Northern California. I should also say my life took a drastic change for the better with that decision. I put in an application for a governmental position in Alameda. I got hired as a Supply Clerk by a lady I ending up calling my West Coast Mother. She called to tell me I had the job and found my wife to be pregnant expecting our third child. Ida M Brown (RIP) allowed me to report, two months later after the birth of the baby.  After I had arrived, she suggested I move into the Oakland YMCA, which I did and invited me and my new friend, Denny, over to her house for a Thanksgiving Dinner. I never forgot her kindness. That was in 1978.  I was thirty-four years old.

But let’s stay on point. I should note that I passed my forties over two decades ago. By age forty, I was working as an Accounting Technician at Naval Supply Center. I transferred from the Accounting Department and took a job in the Procurement Department. My dream had come true. I was a Purchasing Agent and feeling like I’d made real professional progress.

For most people, as Dr. Watson says, turning forty is a time we spend taking inventory of our life. Specifically, we look at our professional life, social environment, and friends.

Professionally we compare our dreams and hopes at twenty to our current reality. We look at our professional gains or losses. We wonder if we had taken this or that turn would we be in a better financial position. Are we happy in our chosen profession?  Are we in an upward position or a dead end? Is my position as rewarding as I originally thought, does it provide me the required security. And one of the most important aspects of a career, am I paid enough for the work.

Should we make a slight change in direction or change careers?  In these days, maybe the choice has been made for you. Companies continue to downsize, and look for ways to cut staff as a way of improving their profitability.  In my opinion, all possibilities must be reviewed including starting your own business.

We also take stock as to who in our lives are worth keeping and who might need to write off as a loss or nuisance.  Sounds cold? Come on; we’ve all had those people in our lives. Friends and, or relatives who have and will continue to cause constant problems in our daily existence. Most mean well, but come into your life with their personal agenda. Some go so far as to get what they need from you and move on to other sources. For a few, you may just have to say enough is enough; we just can’t be around each other. That would also include those in our love life. Is this the person I want in my life. Have the past years been as wonderful for both of us or neither one of us?

There is also an important examination that is biblical in nature. Do our possessions Golden Eggscontribute to our mental well-being?  In short, what we have purchased or personally own is the subject. Do our toys, for lack of a better word, make us happy? The size, brand or value of your toy may not mean the same to other individuals. Maybe it is a status toy like a home or automobile. Whatever the case, the question remains the same. Does it make you happy?

Sometimes we find that after getting a new toy, we are bored and begin to set our sights on a more expensive or new toy. In other words, we may find ourselves always longing for something we don’t have and possible can never own. That calls for self-examination of our values. Do we need this or another toy or can we find happiness with what we already own? And just where do our friends, family, and spouses fit into our toy equation? The value of human contact and interaction should always outweigh our desires for toys.

The point of the exercise is to examine all aspects of your life at this stage. It’s a case where you have to be selfish and honest with yourself.  If the exercise is carried out in the correct way, one will learn a lot about themselves and people around them.

This article is a series of personal examinations at the subject decade milestones in our lives. We welcome comments on your thoughts as write about each topic point. We can all learn from others experiences as well as our own. Look for a new article every two weeks.

Next up: What Happens When You Reach Fifty?

Followed by: Sixty, the new Forty or Fifty?

Ending with: Seventies, are you Done?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment


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Hamp II

This web site is a compilation of all my works, interest, and musical taste. Its intended to display all my talents, dreams, and aspirations. In short, join the ride or stay tuned. Because… I’d been chasing self-independence which led me to open a retail business. Success with no capital for expansion led to its closure. I wanted a career, not just a job. I needed to be in charge of my own destiny. In 1978, I left my beloved Milwaukee and moved to California where a civil service position awaited. It turned out to be one of the best decisions my wife, and I have ever made. A few years before retiring from the “rat race” in 1996, I discovered my true love, writing. I started by publishing an online newsletter with my own opinionated articles leading off each issue. I graduated by writing my first book, Unchon-ni (2010 publication), a semi-biography tale about my military tour in Korea in the early sixties. November of 2013 brought about the release of my second book, entitled Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953. It’s a tribute to my grandmother’s life and times while living in the segregated south of the United States. After careful consideration, I began broadcasting Hamp’s Corner of America via Blog Talk Radio in June of 2014. I’ve found the show to be an ideal platform for presenting ideas and comments to a segment of our society that may not see or hear the stories that speak to their interest from other American news outlets. In the politically charged years since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, most people have become accustomed to instant critique and sound bites from various media. More so than Obama’s election, the truth is often bent; twisted, shredded, and repackaged to resemble something that your conscious tells you is a lie. Independent thinking is not a lost art. Just because people with those types of opinions seem to dominate the landscape, they are still a minority, no matter their color or creed. The truth must be treasured and not compromised. Those real experiences supply the foundation upon which we are built and thus enable us to do the right thing based upon facts. That is the creed upon which I’ve based my life in every circumstance. No matter what, somehow one should always do the right thing for all involved. It keeps one grounded. I’ve reached my senior years and have an enormous appetite to see our local communities grow and prosper at the hands of the people in that community. In other words, there is no help like self-help. As of this summer’s 2015 date, I have three books in my production hopper. One (about my father’s life) to be released this fall, a fictional story by the spring of 2016 and a political environment book, schedule for a fall release in 2016. It should be noted that all my books have been and will be independently published by my choice of publishers. I can say at this point in my life, I am at peace with my work, my God, and my existence.

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