Don’t tell him I said this, but sometimes it takes someone older and wiser to put things in perspective and to look forward and not back.
I have long understood that turning 40 was no big thing but for some reason it knocked me for six when at 39 I realised I only had a year of ‘youth’ left. Obviously this is nonsense; you’re as young as you feel, age is just a number bla bla bla. Rightly or wrongly I have spent way too long thinking about the passing of time and nostalgia is all very well but what about the present and the future?
My light bulb moment arrived in the form of an extraordinary email from my 74-year-old Dad. I have long thought my dad is a bit of a genius, and as a scientist he is all about the facts, but in my opinion there is a creative soul gagging to get out. I think he (not so) secretly pooh poohs all this blog stuff so I asked him to write his memories of turning 40 to see whether he would catch the ‘what’s all this writing for’ bug. See for yourself, I think he did.
I can’t really remember being 40 it’s so long ago. I do remember not wanting to be 40 as it seemed I was at the top of the hill and the only way was down. It was like a watershed; drifting around in the clouds of youth was now definitely over and from now on it would be a rush downstream to a sluggish old river.
Actually, it hasn’t been like that at all. Life in some ways got better and more interesting if, at times, more worrying; watching you three grow up, sometimes succeeding sometimes failing.
If you think being 40 is a shock wait till your kids are 40! Then the real shock is how old you are. You don’t like what you see in the mirror so you don’t look. Your hair has gone, your teeth are brown, you’re going deaf, you need new glasses, your knees/hips/back are painful but all your friends are also so smitten except, of course , those who didn’t make it this far.
But look at it this way. Yesterday we went a strenuous walk in the Peak District. The sky was cloudless, the views glorious, spectacular. So we were out of breath and the knees ached but it was so good to be alive.
Nothing more need be said.