It’s my birthday tomorrow and I am forty years old. I could never imagine reaching forty years old, I just thought it was years away and then all of a sudden it just creeps up on you…BANG the big 40 arrives. I’ve have secretly been looking forward to being forty probably for about the past five years, being mature and refined like a good cheese or wine, but actually it feels no different to twenty seven, (unless something dramatic happens overnight).
Whilst I don’t feel any older, what has happened over the years is that my mindset has changed on the way I see my life. I have weeded out those habits, societal norms that were preinstalled into me as a child, special days, birthday, christmas, anniversaries, are just like any other day but different in that I mark them with different music, food, and colour schemes, for the record this years Christmas theme is red and gold.
What is so special about multiples of 10 anyway, 30, 40, 50, 60 years old, I could go on, I don’t understand why we pay such special attention to magic number perhaps it has some magical mathematical properties. I don’t recall my 10th, 20th or 30th birthday in any real detail but for some reason this one is supposed to be a big one – on that note I thought I would think a little deeper about why.
A day shy of forty, I guess I am about half way through my life, gosh that’s a depressing thought, even more depressing my fortieth is more important to me than my birth and my inevitable death. If I only have another forty years to go then perhaps I may only have 25 years in the prime physical and healthy condition that I am in now. Crikey, I sound like I’m having a midlife crisis!
On a more positive note, approaching forty I have a much stronger sense of urgency to remember to appreciate every day, at forty I’m in a much better position professionally now than when I was 20 or 30 and I recognise the rarity of true friendship and the scarcity of true love and empathy. A great leveller to being forty is the thought that in my fortieth year my son will be 18 years old – how cool is that, am I still allowed to say ‘cool’ being forty? I guess that being a young dad has it’s pro’s and con’s as does that of someone who begins fatherhood at the age of forty. In my forties, I’m going to be better dressed than ever before in my life, all my son’s clothes fit me, I have Casual Connoisseur t-shirts, Armani jeans and a Moncler coat – now that is cool.
Certainly, over the last five years I have mellowed when it comes to my intolerance of people, when someone accidentally cuts me up on the motorway instead of hurling abuse and throwing dramatic gestures at them, I’ll await for them to realise their misgivings and acknowledge their apology with a wave, I rarely use my horn these days.
Approaching forty I have started to care more about my social media profile, my Instagram gallery, the content of my blog, my looks and more importantly whether I can still take a good selfie. Whilst we’re on the subject of selfies as a forty year old you are either someone who loves taking them or hates taking them. Selfies, I guess, are the consequence of the fact that everyone has access to a camera, but they are not simply a photograph for you and yours to view. The rise of social media in my life over the last five years have enabled me to connect with all walks of life across the world I guess this is my excuse for posting selfies of everything from the a new pair of converse to the routine #SaturdayNightSelfie’s – why should I not share these events, with people who I have never met, that’s what social media is for, isn’t it? The same cannot be said for bad photos and we’ve all taken one, however, the difference is that we don’t share these, why, because they make us look less perfect, the bottom line is most of us hand pick every single picture that we post on social media sites for different reasons, to boost self esteem, a quick fix ego boost or to simply show the world the perfect parts of our not so perfect life.
While selfies can be viewed in a somewhat negative light, they can also play a very positive role in people’s lives. Selfies help people portray a version of themselves to the world. This is a statement that says “Look at me, this is who I am.” At times, it can be a very powerful statement and inspire people on to great things in their lives, while at other times, it is simply something that helps them get through the day. In real life, people are constantly trying to stand out, whether it is by what they say or the clothes that they wear and the selfie is no different. It is a statement to the world. It allows people to stand out among the masses.
So, this is me, forty and still taking selfies…..the only thing i am missing in my life is a bucket list…that’s next on my #ToDoList. I wonder what I’ll be doing when I reach fifty, will I be a grandfather, will I be alive, will I be writing a blog about being fifty, will I still be tweeting, taking pictures of my dinner. The pets will probably have died, a sad thought but reality, I’ll probably have a new car and the mortgage will be paid off. One thing is for sure, given how quickly the past forty years have gone, I going to make the most of every day, starting tomorrow.