Friday, December 20, 2013

Facing the big 4-0

I'm afraid the inevitable has happened. I've decided to post about turning forty.

The good thing is, I'm not going to be forty for over a year. I've got time to prepare ... time to brace for impact.

I always used to scoff at people moaning and despairing about reaching this landmark age. I used to think they were being a bit sad and pathetic, but that was back when I was young and carefree with years of abundant, youthful life stretching before me.

I'm sure people's reasons for dreading forty are many and varied, but the main one is probably the fact that you are pretty much halfway through your life, and your mortality is staring down upon you like some ominous grey sentinel. Things start to become harder to do, and the frailty of the human frame becomes ever more obvious.

In conversation with a friend recently, I was discussing personalities and we talked about how people in their forties are pretty much set in their ways. Thinking about myself, I felt a little bit sad because I don't want to be 'set' as a person. I don't want it to be "there you are, you're all set ... nothing else will change – that's it now until you die!"

There are plenty of things about myself that I need to work on – I know far too well that I'm not perfect and have many faults. I like to think that some of those failings which I had a few years ago have been worked through and I'm better for it, but unfortunately as you get older you pick up new (bad) habits and tendencies so the process of self-improvement is never ending.

That's how I want to be for all of my life, not just up to when I hit the big 4-0. I always want to be a work in progress, always growing, always changing, not stagnating.

Otherwise, what's the point?