Well I don’t feel any different.
I’ve turned 40 today and I feel pretty good overall.
I don’t have any major health problems, life is going decent in general and I have lots of great family and friends.
I really can’t complain, and yet here I go!
Just kidding, but I do want to touch on a few topics and generally ramble on if you’ll permit an old man.
Healthwise, turning 40 isn’t all that different from 35 or 30. It’s just that little tiny things keep creeping up on you. A creak here, a pain there, the ability to recover from a drinking binge keeps lessening. Overall your mutant healing power keeps on reducing.
I suppose I’m rather lucky and I thank the gods for my genes. I have most of my hair (allow me to knock on some wood) and people tell me I’m holding up rather well. I guess I have to thank my Dad’s side for some of that, although the Monahan family has a tendency to start balding rather young. The Kerns side is where I get the head of hair apparently.
But hair is a small thing in the grand scheme of things. Many of us have to deal with much more problematic stuff like, oh say, dying. There are so many people I know that have kicked the bucket before their 40th year.
I lost a really good friend last year and it was tough. It was a gut punch that hit me hard. But it was also sort of a wake up call. A lesson that I need to appreciate everyone in my life and to spend my time wisely.
It just goes to show that life is short. If you’re not doing stuff that makes you happy right now, what are you doing with your time?
What are you put here on earth to do? As Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying”.
But overall life is going great for me.
I have lots of great family. I’m lucky and count my blessings frequently that I don’t have a lot of assholes in the family. I have lots of people that I truly love to spend time with. There’s also lots of people I can go to for advice and guidance.
I also have lots of great friends and I’m not sure what I did to deserve them. Boy do I have them snowed over! If you asked me the main reasons I have so many great friends, it’d be because I try to espouse the virtues in books like “How To Win Friends and Influence People“. Really it boils down to being completely honest, being nice, and genuinely wanting to help people. That’s it. Being a complete goofball, well that probably helps by keeping the riffraff and ones with the sticks up their butts at bay.
That’s another piece of life advice. Keep those people who are so serious about life at a distance. They’re no fun and will bring you down. Stay childlike at heart and having fun, because well, it’s just more fun that way.
About my wife, well she’s just amazing. We’re not married by the governments definition and that’s ok because screw them and their rules about marriage. But we’re partners in this thing called life and she’s more than I could have ever asked for. We always have fun and are great for each other. We’ve learned to minimize our arguments and quickly forgive each other. (Another piece of advice there: you’re GOING to have arguments with anyone you live with for an extended period of time, so get used to it and get over them quickly!)
My job is going pretty well. I work freelance and can set my own hours. I can pretty much call the shots, which is all I’ve ever wanted. I’ve made some stuff I think is really cool, and I have at least 9 more months of savings to keep at it. Hopefully I’ll find ways to make more money and extend that out further and further, but if not, I’ll find a job where I can learn a bunch about something new.
I don’t have kids and I’m ok with that. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE kids and being around them. But I don’t need my own kids to raise. There are plenty of other kids around that need love. Also I’m “Uncle John” to a great many children and I barely have the time to spend with all of them. If I had kids my responsibilities would grow and it would subtract from all the other stuff I want to do. If I go through this life without having kids, that’s fine. I spread my wisdom and thoughts in other ways that will outlast me.
Looking at myself in the mid-point of life from my teenager perspective, I’d say I’m rocking it out pretty well. I’m living by my own standards, able to forge my own destiny and design the sort of work I want to do. That’s pretty cool.
I’m a lucky guy, and if I were to die tomorrow I’d have no regrets. Of course, I have a ton of stuff I want to do so I hope I’m healthy well into my 80s!
Of course 40 is nothing more than a number, a mile marker, and no one can make you feel old so don’t let them. But it’s nice to be wise and take all your failures and everything you’ve learned and apply that with a fervency to life. I suggest that everyone do that. Constantly be learning and open to new things. Constantly examine your life and how you’re spending your time. And if you’re not doing what you want to be, then figure out just how in the hell to get there.
A heartfelt thanks to everyone in my life for being there! I love you all.
Now let’s head to Beedubs and have some drinks!