Some people say 40 is the new 20, or that 40 is the new 30.
Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned, 40 is just 40, and no amount of figurative window-dressing is going to change that!
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t feel like a person who will, next week, enter his fifth decade on this earth. For instance, I still feel cool and hip, keeping up to date with what’s goin’ dowwwn in the world of entertainment. This is despite the fact that, instead of making me feel all hanky-panky, the recent performances of some of the younger singers just make me want to give them a parental spanky!
I also consider myself to be quite ‘with it‘ when it comes to technology in this brave new digital world, albeit I still can’t work out how to download movies from the internet without inadvertently downloading STDs from all corners of the web.
Furthermore, I’m in the best shape of my life, and would certainly bet on my current self to out-run and out-lift my younger self, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
However, as I said before, 40 IS 40 and there is simply no getting around it.
I know this because I find myself nagging and repeating myself more and more these days.
“P, don’t forget to pick up the drycleaning tomorrow“.
“Honey, I heard you the first 3 times“, my wife would shoot back, with a deadpan expression.
“L, make sure you clean up your toys in …“.
“I know, I know, clean up my toys in the lounge room. You told me to do it 2 minutes ago“, my elder son would respond, sighing and moping.
“C, please choose a book to read tonight before bedtime“.
“You want me to get the book, Daddy? Or do you want me to clean up the toys that you keep on telling me to clean up“, my younger son would complain, in his usual hands-on-hip posture whenever he feels hard done by.
It has come to a stage where my wife is starting to call me a nag – a complete U-turn from earlier days of our marriage when she used to, for instance, tell me 3 times each night to wipe down the shower-screen after use.
I also know I’m 40 because, for some reason, I make these pathetic groans whenever I get up from the bed, the chair, the floor or indeed any position from which my body has been fixed for more than 10 minutes. Sometimes, I don’t even notice making these sounds until I hear my wife mumbling something along the lines of “Oh God, I need to upgrade to a younger model!“.
The groaning that I do notice myself making more of these days is that of a cranky old fart, bitching and moaning about anything and everything. Politicians, traffic, weather, the increasing cost of a soy flat white, the decreasing size of Big Mac – you name it and I can find something to chuck a fit about it. Hell, I even complain when I win a bet on a football match because I didn’t wager more money on it!
In addition, as I approach 40, I find myself nagging and repeating myself more and more these days.
Then there is the social stamina, or the lack of it. When I was younger, a night out began at 11 pm and didn’t get into full swing until 1am before a cleansing hamburger at 4 am. Nowadays, the yawns begin at 10pm and don’t stop until 11pm at which point I usually call it a night, head home and suddenly get rejuvenated watching David Attenborough’s “The mysteries of the Antartic“.
Come to think of it, insofar as it applies to me, 40 is more the new 60.
I whine and creak like an insufferable fool, but my appearance and maturity level tell the world that I have not yet earn the right to do so. The consequence is that yours truly is now stuck in this twilight zone – one where outsiders think I forgot to take my pills, while insiders are adamant that I should start taking some!
But, then agan, what the hell do they know?!
A bunch of punks who talk much more than they should listen. In my days, we would have dealt with these brats by blah, blah, blah … blah, blah, blah!!!
Keep on pounding.
Great post! 🙂
Thanks for reading. Hey, did I read it right? You have 9 children?! I take my hat off to you. I can barely handle 2 and I’m only a father! 🙂
You nailed it. I’ve been trying to figure out what its all about for months! 40 is 40! 🙂
I’ll tell you what it’s all about! It’s all a big joke, a comedy festival that was funny before i was 40 but then continues to be funny thereafter for everyone but me! 🙂
Maybe you’re hitting your midlife crisis…otherwise known as menopause:)
Oh, is that what menopause means? All this time I thought it was something invented by women so they can give everyone the cold shoulder! 🙂
I have to agree that 40 is the new 60. I awaken from back pain each night (I’m sure I compress my bulging discs each morning when I run), and as I turn over, I HEAR the clickety-clacking of my spine. In 1993, I would go to bed at 5am: Now I awaken at 5am. I also groan like you do when getting up and down from a sofa. But at least you are fit!!
Sounds like you run every morning. That sound like ‘fit’ in my books! 🙂
Ok, first of all, anyone who thinks they’re cool or hip usually isn’t. 😉
You crack me up.
Deep inside, I realise I’m not cool and hip. But please let me revel in my delusion just a little longer? 🙂
Meh! There are increasingly more and more runners peaking at 50 and 60, You are fine! lol
When it comes to running that is lol 🙂
Not sure what kind of running crowd you have over there in kiwi land but, in my neck of the woods, not many are at their peak at 40, let alone 50 or 60! 🙂
I share your pain on so many levels, it’s plain surreal. I’m turning forty in five months and counting… As if I’m turning into something different? OR should I say I will be reaching forty? But that just sounds like I wanted to get there all my life. But yes, 40 is 40.
The thing about 40 is it just hit you in the face all of a sudden. 39 you still kid yourself that you’re in your 30s. Then freaking BAM! You’re 40 and you realise it’s too late to even have a mid life crisis because that’s assuming you gonna live to 80 with full faculties intact! No wonder men my age start doing shit like iron man and climbing the Himalayas! 🙂
Uhm…which of those last two activities have you completed? In my neck of the woods we just try and get to the gym once a day…
Maybe it’s because I’m still a young 39 year old man…
Not yet but the urge is there – as soon as I get the hall pass from the boss (aka as my wife)!
Maybe you need a check up too…Just to verify your mental stability…
(Say I who wrote a piece about an axe wielding bouncer, chopping the heads off Bieber fans.) Ignore my first comment then…
Telling yourself that you’re still cool and hip is sooooo not cool and hip. Writing the words “parental spanky” isn’t either. Welcome to 40, friend! I’ve been loving it!
Ding, ding, the results of the poll are in, and it’s unanimous. I am not not cool and hip and haven’t been for a number of years! Add that to the long list of delusions I have been living under! 🙂
I’ve always said I had a 90 year old woman inside me. I like gin, bird watching, afghan blankets, gardening and yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I feel like all I need is an eyeshade and a purple caftan and I could rock old age. And yet… I too am in the best shape of my life. (No groans when I get up, yet!) I haven’t decided to climb the Himalayas, but my fitness plans keep getting bigger and bigger. I’m looking forward to the next decade – I think it is going to be an interesting one!
I know all about your fitness plans through your blog. You seem to be tackling mid life with much greater zeal than I can muster. But, watch out, I’ll catch up to you soon in terms of enthusiasm! 🙂
I happily turned 40 last month, but still had a bit of a crisis about how it SOUNDED. 40 sounds older than I thought I would feel at this age!
I’ve been following your crazy race schedule, involving running, cycling and swimming. You are certainly not letting 40 get in the way of anything! Keep on pounding. 🙂
yeah…I don’t think the kids are saying “cool” and ‘hip” anymore….I know this cause when I say it, my kids roll their eyes or look at me like I have lost my mind. I know I’m (ahem…over) 40 because I finally truly understand the saying “youth is wasted on the young”…sigh..here’s to the next 40 my friend! 🙂
Wait a sec! Not only have I not been cool and hip for a long time, but now you’re telling me that I haven’t even been using the right terminology to describe ‘cool and hip’? Wonderful! I have descended much further into middle age than I thought! 🙂 What is the correct term, anyway? Is it I’m not ‘phat’ anymore?
I’ve lost track of the right words lol
Try fish oil. I have been taking it for three years, about 10mL a day from the bottle. Stops the creaking! At 42, I feel like a fish out of water but it works. Good for the brain and skin too.
Good for the brain? I need that! 🙂
Hilarious post as always—-but don’t get too down on yourself—-you may be cranky and the joints might be a little squeaky—-but you said it yourself, you’re in the best shape of your life!
Yes, you’re right. Always gotta look on the bright side, even from the wrong side of mid-life! 🙂
The bit about you going out and getting home at11 could’ve been written by my husband… I truly thought he was the only one watching Attenborough!!!! I find him to be a sedative… After 2 minutes I’ve hit the deck:)
Sounds like you’re too young to appreciate how scintillating Attenborough is! 🙂