That’s not really news since I’ve been 40 for a little over 8 months. (Shit! I’m closer to 41 than 40 now?) But, because a good friend of mine had his 40th birthday two days ago, we got to talking about The Big 4-0. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal for me.
The only birthday I had a problems with was my 25th. I was still in school, and felt like I was waiting for my life to begin, but had already wasted a quarter of a century! Turning thirty was fine. That doesn’t divide into 100 evenly.
My 40th was actually good for me. The last two years of my 30’s had some rough spots and as I was approaching 40, it felt like things were finally turning around and going in the right direction. I had a quiet birthday with a few close friends, but really didn’t do a lot of celebrating. I wanted to just focus on the really good things in my life and enjoy them immensely. Quality over quantity.
But now that my friend, Gary (not his real name because he doesn’t want me to tell his real age), turned 40, we got to talking about what it meant to us. For me, there were two realizations that came with being 40. I call them realizations even though I had thought about both before, but hitting 40 made them sink in.
The first realization was that since I remember when my parents were in their 40‘s and they were old then, I must be old now.
The second was that there were a lot of things that were never going to happen in my life. That’s the hardest part of getting older. I’m not sure that some of these were really things I wanted to happen, but it was nice to know there was the possibility of it happening. But, now that I’m older, even the possibility is gone. Here’s a partial list.
- I’m never going to be a college or professional athlete. (Let’s face it. If it’s an activity you can learn and excel at at 40, then it’s not a real sport.)
- I’m never going to have kids in my 20’s or 30’s.
- I will never be an astronaut. (I guess this is ok, since I hate to fly.)
- I’m never going to just up and move to San Francisco and work in a coffee shop or bookstore.
- I’m not going to get married before I turn 40.
- I will never compete in the Olympics.
- I’m never going to be the “hot, young thing” walking into the gay bar. (Unless I go to the bar above Dupont Italian Kitchen.)
- I’m not going to backpack across Europe for the summer.
I guess some of this is ok. I’m actually in some of the best shape of my life thanks to the gym and my trainer. I’m actually feeling more athletic than I ever have (more on this in a future post). I have great friends. I had two first dates this week, both of which went well. And when I finally finish school and pay off student loans, I may have enough money to have a kid on my own if I want to. (Is 75 too old to be a father?)
Overall, 40‘s looking pretty good.