They say that life begins at 40, yet statistically a certain number of people around the world must die on their 40th birthday, which must make this one of the most ironic clichés for the beloved of the dearly departed.
40 always looms as one of these big ones. I guess it’s most associated with the time that people begin their mid-life crisis, but as I’ve been in the middle of mine for the best part of 25 years already, I don’t know how much impact it’s likely to have.
I preferred being a teenager to being an infant; I preferred my 20s to my teens; I preferred my 30s to my 20s; so did I peak at 39, or am I likely to prefer my 40s to my 30s?
Certainly I feel better about who I am than I did a decade ago. And if I can get the tiredness and depressive bouts under control, then there’s a lot to be positive about for the forthcoming decade. I’m more in control of my life, have a far greater level of self-confidence and am several pounds lighter.
My father always said that birthdays were a celebration of life: they confirm that you have survived another year despite the shit the gods have thrown at you. He changed his tune when he hit 60 and has been a grumpy old sod every birthday since, however I liked his original sentiment and have always tried to adopt it.
So today I turn 40. I’m still alive and the decade ahead looks promising.
Happy birthday to me :)
It turns out that the 25th of October was also Picasso’s birthday. He would have been celebrating his 85th on the day I was born.
So in honour of this momentous coincidence, I have scanned the web and discovered a place you can create your own Picasso self-portrait. Here’s mine: