Mar. 31—Earlier this month, I hit the milestone that many folks dread to see coming.

On March 5th, I joined the often feared 40 Club as I celebrated my 40th birthday.

Since my big day fell in the middle of the week, my mom threw me a party that previous weekend so that several members of my family could come celebrate with me.

We got a couple reserved tables at the new Palace Family Entertainment Center in London. If you haven't been yet, I definitely recommend checking it out. There are several fun games to play, a bowling alley, a go-kart track, and really good food.

It was a really nice time, and great getting to have everyone together for a little while.

Of course, hitting this age can often be much less fun for many folks.

It tends to symbolize the end of your youthful days, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Your teenage years are a distant memory, and your 20s were over a decade ago.

Even your 30s are now in the rearview mirror which can be a tough pill for anyone to swallow.

I won't try to sound tough and act like hitting this age doesn't bother me at all. It's just our nature to feel a tiny bit of sadness. But for me, it's more of a wish that time would just slow down rather than caring about a particular number.

My 30th and 40th birthdays honestly felt just like any other birthday. But it's those occasional quiet moments nowadays where you think about loved ones getting older, children growing up, and the world around you always changing.

It can make you wish there was a big red button to smash that would make time stand still for a few years.

However, as time marches on, God's blessings march in. Thus, it's important to remember what all we would miss if we were frozen in time.

You can use my life as a great example.

As I approached my 30s, I got to marry the love of my life and become part of her amazing family.

As I approached my 40s, I got to become a dad to our precious little boy Jaxson.

The blessings have no doubt extended to the rest of my family as well.

My brothers and sisters now have families of their own along with nice careers. All the while, my parents have been enjoying getting to be grandpas and grandmas. And my grandma has enjoyed getting to be a great-grandma.

So while it can take a toll on your emotions getting older, we should all be thankful for the blessings of getting older.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."

Now that I am in the 40 Club, I just want the Lord to know I am thankful for these 40 years. From the start, way back in 1984, until now, I have received far more blessings than I deserve. But I am forever thankful and excited to see what God has in store as time marches on.

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor of the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at bhall@thetimestribune.com