From a very young age, I knew that 40 was a special birthday. Adults seemed to do crazy things like ordering 40 pink flamingos for the front lawn. And the birthday boy/girl used to get (really) drunk spending the next day feeling sorry for themselves (my mom included). Society ensures that we're well aware that 40 is old, or even worse...the ever-dreaded, "Middle-Aged" label.
But now that I'm among the elite adult group, many of my friends have turned 40 in the last year. And at 35, I'm happy to say that not one of them looked like the 40 I remember in my childhood. Sure, that's perspective playing a key role, after all I was looking up at those old adults from a 4ft frame solely thinking that pink flamingos and a hangover were all that I had to look forward to one day.
In the vast memory bank of my mind, time ebbs and flows, but is also rapid and flickering. It's hard to comprehend it's my big brother's turn to be 40 when just yesterday, my dad was 40 dealing with the tragic news that his parents were killed in a car accident. And my 15-yr old brother was devastated in the arms of my father, at the loss of his grandfather. Dad, although incredibly sad, seemed mature and stoic enough to deal with it. He was my dad after all; nothing short of a super hero from behind my 10-yr old eyes. Now seeing my brother turn 40 and also selfishly sitting five years away from that birthday myself, I now see that my dad was so young - dealing with the loss of his parents, while trying to be a parent himself. Without ever asking him, I'm sure he felt in that moment of not wanting to not be an adult-40, merely wanting to just give in to the significant loss in his life.
Middle-age, a perceived time to be negative and depressed about hitting the top of the hill. But, as you know, I'm not a big fan of society (in general terms), so to my big bro - I say just grab your crazy carpet now that you're about to make it over the hill, raise your arms in a V and slide down the other side with a smile on your face and the wind in your hair.