It’s finally happening. The inevitable shit is going to hit the fan. After months of mental preparation, counselling and tremendous support from all my family and friends I think I’m ready. There are only 23 days to go. And yes I’m counting them. I’m not gonna be that guy who wakes up one morning and realise it’s happened. No friends, I’m the stalker and when it arrives, I will be the one jumping out of the bushes, scaring the living daylights out of my fortieth birthday.
My mental preparation involved sessions where I had to convince myself that when I turn forty, I’m not going to keel over and die, or suddenly have a mind lost in an abyss of dementia. (That only happens later) It’s not a disease, its just another birthday, events that haunts us once a year, nothing to be scared about. So “Get a fucking grip, and stop whining like a little girl.” Some tough love was required in a few of those sessions.
I have reached the point where I see my big 40 as a mile stone. Even though it’s a milestone where twenty-something guys call me sir because they respect the elderly, but still a milestone. I’ve now come to understand that it’s a moment where one can look back to the past, before turning around and going forward, with a cane and some much needed vitamins. But don’t worry I’ll take one day at a time.
In the spirit of trying to turn, my turning, into a happy one, I decided to bestow 40 snippets of wisdom/ lessons learned/skills acquired onto my children/readers/followers. One for every year I spent on this spinning blue ball.
(By the way, did you know how much debris and chunks of metal and obsolete satellites there are left spinning in orbit around our planet? In excess of thousands I tell ya! This random statement comes courtesy of watching the making of Gravity, which I like to thank for giving me another reason to lie awake at night.)
Getting back to my lessons. I will dish out five at a time.
1. I learned to walk. And surprisingly it wasn’t really an achievement, well at least not close to what my parents made it out to be, considering that most humans achieve this feat before the age of three. Add to that the inevitable ability to talk and the miraculous reality of getting teeth, it encapsulates and solves all the major concerns
young new parents have. If only I remembered this with my youngsters.
2. I have a great wife. And having a great wife is really important. For happiness and longevity and those other things we strive for in life. She’s beautiful, funny, strong, determined, kind, loving, caring, and did I say funny?
3. My genes combined with Mrs Wonderful allowed the creation of the most amazing creatures to be born as mortals. It would have been cooler if they had super powers like telekinesis or invisibility, but they’re still great nonetheless. And even though they are awesome, we’ve decided to give other people a chance to populate earth. It seemed unfair not to. My children remains a gift that is totally undeserved and one I treasure daily. I know I must have done something really spectacular in a previous life, like invent Velcro or sliced bread or gravity.
4. Having a sense of humour is probably the most important life skill required to retain some sanity in a world with so much shit flying around. It’s crucial to refrain from taking yourself to seriously, and to remember you’re just another human amongst a few billion others. Finding something to laugh about everyday might be like trying to make sense of woman, but it is worth the effort. You will be so glad you did.
5. Which brings me to the final lesson for the day. Smoking is an awful habit and kicking it would probably be the best thing you can do for yourself. (And no Son I’ve never done it, I’m just saying. ) You’ll feel healthier, have a better sense of smell and experience the weirdest craving every time you see someone light it up with a beer in hand. Technically it only becomes the best thing you can do for yourself after you have found a perfect life partner and become a dad, but it remains an important thing to do. Like saying I love you before going to bed.
Wow, have I already reached the end of part one? So much wisdom, so little time…
So kids, when you read this, I hope it’ll leave you a little less stressed, a little less concerned, a little less serious, and just a little bit happier.