Turning 40

I’m turning 40 today.

(Please hold your applause.)

My girlfriend says turning 40 changes you. Or rather, that it’s different afterwards. I’m not so sure, it’s just a number, right? Maybe I’ll feel different about it later.

You’re not in your thirties anymore, that’s what she said. I can see why that’s something to get hung up on. You’re undoubtely young when you’re in your twenties, and then you get to be somewhat young still in your thirties. But the forties, that’s when you should be settled, have had a bunch of kids, a house and a safe job – all your ducks in order, basically.

I can’t really relate, but again, I might later.

There’s no Porsche 911 on my driveway (but I do own a house again), so the midlife crisis hasn’t arrived yet. You could claim that the Nissan Qashqai is a budget version of a Volvo XC60 and the house and kid’s chair in the car and the dog that’s with me every now and then is proof of the whole “ducks in order” theory, but still I disagree.

I just ended up here.

Fine. That’s probably true for most of us, masterplans doesn’t work when life is involved, they don’t even qualify as guidelines. I’ll grant you that, sure.

But I did just end up here. I’m glad I did, and I’ll raise a glass to Lady Luck this evening.

So, 40. It’s a big round number, but honestly, isn’t it just a precursor to turning 50? Maybe that’s when the real crisis rears its ugly mug?

It’s a very calm birthday, because there’s not much you can do these days. Parties and dinner at a nice restaurant is out of the question. I was supposed to be in Paris, but am not, obviously. A lot of plans are getting changed these days, and there’s no point in being bitter about it. It is what it is.

Staying home – or in the new summer home, which is where we spent the last two days – isn’t something I usually struggle with. I’m not now either, not really, but there’s a little itch that makes me want to go out for a nice dinner and some drinks. The fact that I’m not supposed to makes it scratch all that harder. Restraint isn’t something I’m used to, but it’s our every day now.

We’re healthy, I might add. We’re just deploying some common sense here. And also, all the good restaurants are closed on Sundays…

These are weird times.

I’m slowing things down, to think things through. I like to think that has nothing to do with age, but rather perspective. We’re not in a hurry after all, so what’s the rush?

I’ve been running, sprinting even, through too many of my 40 years. The last couple of years has been hard, fruitful, painful, rewarding, and stressful, all at once. I’m slowing down on purpose, or at least I’m trying to. It’s not always easy, is it?

Turning 40 hasn’t come with revelations of any kind. I didn’t expect it to, but it would’ve been a nice, or perhaps interesting, surprise. In the world’s current state, turning 40 is a quiet change of numerals, nothing more.