Life begins at 40? Let’s put it to the test

A 40 sign.

Life begins at 40, so they say. I reached that age last week. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I wasn’t looking forward to it.

It’s one of those milestones that, for whatever reason, we build up in our heads. Some silly people even commit to pre-40 bucket lists they’ll never complete. Wallies.

But, now I’ve made the transition from tricenarian to quadragenarian – yes, I looked those up – I’m realising the folly of all the self-doubt and semi-morbid thoughts I put myself through.

Because, obviously, the early days of my 40s don’t feel any different to the last few of my 30s!

As for the previously-feared anniversary itself, it was brilliant. I had a lovely quietish day with family – big parties have never been my style – and am feeling pretty good about things on the whole.

I haven’t been at my happiest for a while and, like everyone, have various stresses. Turning 40 must have been one of them. As, although I’ve still got enough worries to keep the grey hairs coming, I suddenly feel a fair bit lighter. Mentally rather than physically, that is. I ate A LOT at the weekend!

I intend to put the suggestion that life begins at 40 to the test. I’m going to start looking after myself a bit better and will try to look forward to things more often too.

Whether or not I replace my failed 40 before 40 with a 50 before 50 remains to be seen. But I’m determined to start living a bit more rather than just existing. In many ways, it feels like I’ve been sleepwalking for a while and that has to stop.

It’s also time for more exercise, less booze and caffeine and better sleep. I got a new Fitbit for my birthday and it has already made a big difference.

I’m always glad of excuses to get away from my desk to get extra steps in and now take the stairs instead of the lift. I work on the fourth floor, so that’s a pretty good workout!

It also guilt trips me into drinking more water and into switching off the video games and going to bed instead of carrying on for ‘just five more minutes’.

So it’s so far, so good – as opposed to sofa, so good. And, before I inevitably slip into another existential funk once I approach my half-century, I’m going to make sure I enjoy my 40s.

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