Looking pretty good for a dead guy

Archive for October, 2013

Changing the strapline

by on Oct.18, 2013, under Ramblings

Photo Credit: bikesandwich

I’ve realised that something on this blog was no longer true. Thankfully it was just the strapline that needed to be updated and not the main title. I’m not dead, yet, but I’m also no longer a 30-something. Ouch. That smarts a little.

There’s something odd about turning forty and everyone you talk to seems to know it. There’s a quiet hush, a sense of knowing, a foreboding even. People don’t like to talk about starting their fifth decade; there’s an expectation that everything is suddenly going to change. This “middle-age” phrase suddenly appears to have stuck to me.

On a recent trip to the States with my family, I joked with my uncles that I’ve hit an point in my life where I’m closer to them than to my younger cousins who are themselves only just getting married and having children. As the eldest of the “cousins”, that’s an odd place to find yourself, but it’s true. I bridge a gap between two generations. Strangely I quite like that: I’m welcome in both camps and I can hold my own in each. But it’s also a little difficult since I also don’t really “belong” in either camp. Maybe I’m middle-aged in all practical senses of the phrase?

But what is middle-age anyway? Does it have a defined start? When does it finish?! Even that seems to be surrounded in confusion. Is it the point at which you face the stark fact that it’s likely that you have lived half your expected life by this point? Have I achieved everything I’d set out to do yet or at least be a long way towards doing so? Since I didn’t sit down aged 3 and make a life-plan (who on earth really does that?!), I’m not sure what that even means to me? I also don’t think I will have a “mid-life crisis” – I wouldn’t have time for one anyway and frankly I have a wife and four children… my entire life could be described as crisis! Much as I would love to, I won’t suddenly be going out and buying a motorbike or a sports car… maybe a new camera… hmm.

Yes, things creak a little more than they used to; I’m nowhere near as fit as I used to be, although I am playing football at work which is helping; my kids are hitting ages that I can still remember being (that’s scary); I’m hitting ages that I easily remember my own parents being (that’s even scarier!); I’m losing hair faster than I care to admit and what hair is left is starting to glint with a few more grey hairs than were there before. But do you know what? I’m not worried about it. I’m actually happy. I’m content. I think that contentment has been a huge bonus to me my whole life and I have to attribute it to my faith. But I’ll leave the analysis of that for another day.

So, are you middle-aged? Have you changed? How did you deal/celebrate it? Do you feel it? For a bit of fun you can take this quiz to be sure. Apparently I’m not, which makes me a little happier.

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