Friday, August 14, 2009

Life Begins

At forty apparently.

I’ve heard this expression a number of times over the last 24 hours. My birthday yesterday has, of course, provoked, a number of responses from my friends which have ranged from “you’re only as old as the woman you feel” to “you poor old bugger”. I’m not sure in what light either of these apply to my wife.

By far though the most common has been “life begins at forty” or even (in-line with current fashion) “forty is the new twenty”.

Well, I certainly hope not as my twenties were absolutely crap. However this had little to do with my age and more to do with my wallflower attitude to life. I’m pleased to say I’m a bit more assertive and “go-getting” these days. So who knows? Maybe life begins will prove to be rather apt after all?

I certainly don’t feel any different. By different I, of course, mean decrepit and dysfunctional.

I don’t suddenly feel the full horrid weight of my forty years pressing down on me like a huge millstone of wasted opportunity and misdemeanour. My legs are not suddenly bowed with the sheer tonnage of my life up to his point.

No more than is normal for a full time working dad of two writing a novel in his spare time anyway.

But then it hasn’t really sunk in.

40? 40?

It’s just a number at the moment. I keep having to tell myself that it applies to me because mentally it’s just not sticking.

It took me a whole year to get used to being 39 so I doubt that 40 will be any different.

I’ll admit I’ve had a passing thought that maybe, just maybe it’s now time for me to grow up a bit and start acting more sensibly.

But then my next thought was yah-boo sucks to that.

I think being 40 is going to be a cinch.


27 comments:

French Fancy said...

40 is a great age. I was that age 11 years ago and it seems like yesterday.50 is not too bad either.

Hope you have a lovely birthday weekend - I reckon birthdays at the end of a week should always be spread over until the following Monday

Rol said...

(Belated) happy birthday.

You. Old. Bastard.

I've been saying it for years, forty is the new SIXTY.

Steve said...

FF: what a marvellous idea - an extended birthday weekend. Think I might take you up on that! ;-)

Rol: No respect... that's the trouble with you young whippersnappers these days...

Tenon_Saw said...

How remiss of me not to wish you a happy birthday - but there HAS been a lot on my mind.
As a nearly 51 year old I would give almost anything to be 40 again. The 40s should have been my best years and maybe they were; all that experience and I still had some some physical ability to dowhat I wanted. I should have made a point of telling myself they were great years at the time.
At 50 I am still more active than I thought I would be but I'll pass on some advice I was given by a friend for you to remember in 10 years time: When you get to 50 never trust a fart. (I'll leave you to work it out)

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: thanks for that... but hopefully I'll be OK. I've always been a bit of a tight arse. ;-)

Valerie said...

Happy 40th. Life starts here! This is when attitudes change for the better. Enjoy.

French Fancy said...

Just so you know, what Tenon said doesn't happen to all 50 year olds :)

Clippy Mat said...

happy birthday. it's all downhill after this.
life will become a blur and flash before your very eyes, then just as you start to adjust, BANG, 41, 42 and on...
trust me,
i woke up and i'm 55! how the eff did that happen?
enjoy :-)

KayDee said...

Happy Birthday you old darling....oops what am I saying....I am in the last er...months of my 40's and I have to say it's been great. I loved turning 40 but I hate the thought of turning 50.

I am a big believer in the adage that Life Begins....oh you have so much in store young man. Enjoy every minute of it.

The Sagittarian said...

ah, fond memories of 40....I recall one of my nasty offspring asking whether that was even a number!
Happy Birthday, Steve and many more eh? I am suffering thru a 12 year's old birthday party today.

Steve said...

Valerie: thank you!

FF: nice to know... though I might buy some extra underpants just in case... ;-)

Clippy Mat: I'm never going to sleep again!

KayDee: thank you for your positivity. But less of the old please - I've become very sensitive about my age. ;-)

Amanda: is it even a number? Ha ha! I can remember thinking like that in my foolish callow youth so many, many years ago. Good luck with the party. Do kids these days still play pin the tail on the donkey?

A Write Blog said...

Happy birthday from me too.

50 is better though. I've been happier since turning 50 than I was in my 40's.

I seem to be more willing to take a risk and to focus on what I want in life now. (I'm 55) Less governed by the fear of getting things wrong too.

Steve said...

AWB: so maybe life begins at 50?! Does that mean 50 is the new 40? I'm confused!

Old Cheeser said...

Happy Birthday Steve!! From one 40 year old to another (I hit the big 4-0 in March). I can attest that it certainly doesn't feel that much different - although some doors perhaps close by the time you reach that age. On the other hand, other avenues open. I think it hits me most when I go out to bars and other places and see young people acting kind of childish and immature - God I sound boring - you realise you've come a long way though. Anyway have a great one. What are you celebrtaion plans??

Simon

Steve said...

OC: Karen took me out for a lovely meal on the actual day and then I had a nice indulgent day at home. Other than that plans have been overtaken by my granddad's illness: he's currently in hospital and I'm off to visit him this afternoon.

KAZ said...

"It took me a whole year to get used to being 39" ..ah but that's because you were dreading the thought of reaching 40.
Now it's here you can relax.

*I love Rol's comment*
Oh and Happy Birthday from me too!

Steve said...

Kaz: thank you, Kaz. You're probably right. I can now worry at my own leisure about turning 50.

French Fancy said...

I hope the birthday weekend is going well and that you have spent no time at all sitting waiting for fire alarm situations to resolve themselves.

Have I missed any of your other blog entries - you know, the other one? It's been a while since I've been there

Steve said...

FF: hopefully plans are now well and truly afoot for a proper emergency call-out team to be established which, if it goes ahead, may mean I'll be very unlucky to get called out once in 5 years. So something good may yet have come out of the recent shenanigans.

As for the "other" place you haven't missed anything. Haven't written a new post for a while and funnily enough was only thinking the other day that I ought to pen something... watch this space!

Inchy said...

I'm 39 in October and the prospect of my imminent 40th illicits some strange feeling in me. I never really thought I'd be 40.
I mean I always knew I'd be 40 one day, but I still remember sitting in my geography class at high school when a girl called Tracy Turnbull revealed she was dating a guy who was 22 and had a Ford Escort XR2i.

I was horrified by this "He's 21?!" I remember asking "he's an old man!".

How things change.

Steve said...

Inchy: I can remember something similar... 25 seemed positively middle aged when I was a teenager and 30 just seemed on the verge of senility... tweed jacket and pipe. However, on a brighter note, I've just visited my granddad in hospital (who's brighter) and the shop assistant there thought I was only 30.

It must have been the pipe...

Inchy said...

I take it she didn't have her glasses on or had you just had a shave?

Steve said...

He prodded me a bit with his white stick.

No wait... I didn't mean... that isn't a euphemism...

Inchy said...

Whoa there horsey!

A Write Blog said...

LOL Steve. Maybe I'll be saying the same at 60, under 5 years to go.

Nota Bene said...

Happy birthday, dear fellow. I decided to stick at 37, where I have remained for many good years

Steve said...

Inchy: neigh!

AWB: apparently 40 is the new 60 - so technically you're 35.

Nota Bene: what a great idea - may have to regress and then do the same myself.