I’m not so ignorant to think that 40 is the new black; “meh” sums up the experience quite nicely. #40Meh.
A few months ago, in anticipation of my 40th anniversary of living, I set out to write a commemorative blog post: to riff on the significant meaning of this significant milestone. I didn’t have a thesis going into the project, but I was confident something profound would come to me. And why wouldn’t it? We have a pop culture pantheon of promises; of discovery, of self-awareness and of meaning at mid life. However, as the birth day approached, and then passed, a finished blog post didn’t — the passing of time and the process of introspection brought nothing.
Despite the onset of prescription eyeglasses and a rotator cuff injury, the mundane that I’ve found in the few weeks since joining the ranks of the middle aged is that not a lot is different between 40 and most of my 30s — if not the whole of my adult life. Sure, I feel like I’ve gained some wisdom in proportion to grey hairs, but for the most part, the advent — and passing — of 40 has been more lamb than lion; more “meh,” than, well — it was just meh.
Deep thoughts? I have none — but I still need 500 more words. What follows, then, is the best can offer:
Forty (not-so-)Profound, (hopefully) Entertaining-if-Not-Edifying, (suitable-for-Tweeting?) Thoughts on Turning 40:
1. My life thus far: bought with 4 easy payments of 10 years each.
2. This is the age of knowing … that a Soft tail will get your engine revving a whole lot faster than a blue pill.
3. When I was growing up, there was only Rock music. Classic Rock hadn’t been invented yet.
4. Cut my teeth on Pong. Dictated this to Siri. Can’t wait to see what tech I get at 80.
5. 40 is the new 25 … 40 is the new 25 … 40 is the new 25 …
6. The pace of the passing of time picks up the pace past 40.
7. Sometimes I miss my dad something fierce. Then I look in the mirror, and there he is.
8. They say the eyes are the windows to our souls. Maybe because they are the first to fail us, ushering in old age and eventually death.
9. Condiments — it’s like I’ve discovered a whole ‘nother amazing dimension within our own world.
10. New vocabulary word: Analgesic.
11. My generation is the only to have seen Star Wars episodes 4-6 in our youth; episodes 1-3 with our children, and will see 7-9 with our grandchildren.
12. Corn. Not just a food. Or a band. Now, a sore on my foot.
13. I was a teenager when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born.
14. All of a sudden, I can be a victim of age discrimination. Wow.
15. On the Air Force Fitness Assessment, a “Passing” score at 39 becomes an “Excellent” score at 40. Best. Gift. Ever.
16. On a road trip, I’m that guy that pulls over every hour for a comfort break.
17. Surprise parties: Awesome for 6-year-olds. Not so sure at 40.
18. I’ve developed a telescopic, go-go-gadget arm for extending my phone far enough away that I can read what’s on it.
19. I’ve finally matured into the hairline I’ve had since 28.
20. I’m 42 already and I just turned 40 last October. What’s happening?!
21. Obsessed with the 2015 Ford Mustang. Not a midlife crisis; I just hope I look that good when I’m 50!
22. We were so spoiled back in the day: there used to be a special phone number dedicated to providing citizens with the time and temperature … Back when there were telephones, of course.
23. Crows feet, laugh lines and greying temples. Entering the “distinguished gentleman” phase of life.
24. Knowing is half the battle.
25. Deny all you want, but when Metamucil starts posting ads to your News Feed, you have to concede that you are over 40.
26. Ye shall know them by their socks: 40-somethings = white ankle sport.
27. Stayed out ’til the street lights came on.
28. Can no longer be a fast food dumpster.
29. Wisdom = Smarts + Experience + Time.
30. My hairline turned 40 a full decade before I did.
31. Black crepe. Not cool.
32. In the gym every day. For physical therapy, not physical fitness.
33. Big Bird. G.I. Joe, Pete Parker, Obi Wan. Characters who shaped my character.
34. After 40 years, I’ve gotta have at least 10,000 hours toward expertise in something.
35. So let me get this straight — a new motorcycle, hobby or sports car in my 20s is cool, but now it’s a mid-life crisis?
36. I saw a red minivan with Sublime and Beastie Boys window stickers on it. Talk about my generation.
37. All the best songs of my youth were novelty songs. Top 5:
5) Abracadabra / The Steve Miller Band
4) Mr. Roboto/ Styx
3) Whip It / Devo
2) Rock me Amadeus / Falco
1) I Wanna be a Cowboy / Boys Don’t Cry
38. If I don’t know myself yet. I think I might not ever.
39. Into weed: obsessed with getting rid of the crabgrass in my lawn.
40. The only things that’ll make me give a double take today is a shiny fender, a spoiler or pipe noise.
There could be more things to say, but I’ve hit 40 of them, and I’m supposed to be ready for a nap now. So here’s to deeper thoughts at 50, 60 and beyond.
A well done if more colorful list for the sisters: 40 Effed Up Things About Being 40.
Deep Thoughts From the Shallow End of the Pool features essays from PR, business, and life — which means they might be as random as any of the rest of the content on this site!