While I only recently celebrated my 39th birthday, I seem to be rounding up lately. Forty years. Roughly half a lifetime. Like the rest of you around this age, I’m sure you thought as I did twenty years ago that forty seemed so far away. My dad passed away when he was 42 and I was 8. I remember thinking he had lived so long. He had not. I look back on my twenties and I feel like it was days ago. I hang out with a few friends from my teenage years and we can easily and vividly recall adventures we had. None of us “feel” our age and I’m sure that is a common phenomenon.
Personally I have more energy than I remember having in my twenties. Perhaps this is just perception and perhaps not. I do find myself more concerned with things I didn’t care about even ten years ago. Things like 401k, savings, health, etc. In my 30’s it was all about finding myself which I still don’t feel I have done. In my 20’s it was all about finding my thirties.
Things that bothered me a lot ten years ago don’t phase me now. I’ve matured and yet I feel behind, a “late bloomer”. I got married in my twenties and it ended in my 30’s (we are still friends however) and while I have had my “career” since my twenties I’ve only in the past few years actually figured out where I want to go with it. instead or marauding around in an open field, I’m finally following a self prescribed path.
Stress is different now too. Things that used to stress me out now just amuse me and things I never thought would stress me out now creep up in the back of my mind. My mother’s age and health is at the top of the list. For the longest time, I was convinced she would live forever. Even after heart surgery I thought she was untouchable. I’m slowly coming out of this denial to realize she won’t outlive me.
Many things have changed in my life and I chronicle them often in my mind as “the teens,” “the twenties”, the “thirties”. I’m sure most of you do as well. I both look forward to and accept as a challenge that which will come with “the forties”.