One of the things I think about whenever contemplating the release of my book is that if all goes according to plan it will happen a couple of months after I turn forty.
I think about when I was a kid, all of the mocking heaped upon those turning that age. There were black balloons, death-themed cards, good-natured notes reminding the birthday boys and/or girls that they were not only past their prime, but hurtling towards their demise.
I don’t see that so much any more. It may be that as I close in on the age, my peer group ages with me and so I don’t notice how far I am separated from youth. However, it also seems as though we’ve all taken an unwritten vow not to ape our parents in this fashion.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who keep the “forty is old” industry limping along. A sad insurance company office party may do it to be fun, or a group of people incapable of doing anything non-ironically may do it out of a hatred for all things bygone.
Regardless, I hope my friends and i meet our forties without such trappings. We’re old, but there’s no need to call it out. We can pretend to hold it at bay forever. I think I did myself a favor by keeping really horrible care of myself in my thirties. Between that and my sickly childhood, forty may see me at my healthiest.
That is if the world is still recognizable after 2012. I have to make it clear that I’m aware of the possibility lest one of you feel the need to school me. I’m aware of the impossibility, too, lest you seek to influence me the other way.
I’m getting too old to worry about how old I am.