On 40

I have a very distinct memory on New Year’s Eve, 1980, whence I was 10. I was at a party where I probably shouldn’t have been and recall thinking “Wow, when it’s the year 2000, I will be 30!”.
Today I turn 40 years old.
Another clear memory. When I was in my early teens I asked my father what it was like to age. (He was right around 40 at the time, now that I think of it.) He said something to the effect of: “It feels the same. There is no switch that flips and you feel old.”
And as with many things, you can’t know what he means until you get there. I often reflect at where I am compared to where my parents were at the same age.
I don’t feel like an adult and I have long known why. Due to the course my life has taken, I don’t really have any of those watershed moments that somewhat define adulthood. I have long jokingly said that you are an adult when you have matching dishes and a headboard. But I don’t have a mortgage, wife or child: Things that demand responsibility and fiscal prudence.
The only thing that has really changed is that I am smart and am (was) getting paid more. A man is a boy with better toys.
So I have been able to live a quite carefree life, as evidenced now by my somewhat rash shedding of life 1.0 for my current e-vagabond lifestyle.
They other thing that only became self-evident when you get there is 40. As I was approaching it, the classic ‘mid-life crisis’ totally made sense.
It’s obvious that by then, you have been doing some job, cube-bound or otherwise, for 10ish years and you have to think “Is this it? Is this the goal state?” And of course you buy a nice car because by 40, you are likely earning the means.
My new worldly life has left me less stressed about 40. I am out in the world, doing something different and dynamic. Prudent? Not likely, but if you think in terms of stories you have for your grandchildren, it’s the right thing to do.
And I wasn’t going to find my wife by sitting in my cube/home, so I will see if I can find her out in the world.
So I am pleased to bring in 40 in Northern Island, checking off another country on the list, one of life’s nice pleasures.
Thanks to all for your kind greetings and well wishes.

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