Reflections At 40

Ye Gods!!! I've just woken up to discover that I'm now 40!!!! I'm sure in high school no-one ever thought I'd make it to this milestone. When I hit first year, back in 1980, your status on your birthday was judged by what famous person you shared yours with. Mine was easy. It wasn't Ivan the Terrible, Leonard Bernstein, Sean Connery or Frederick Forsyth. Back then it wasn't even Elvis Costello and no-one had heard of Tim Burton. Nope, you see I had the coolest birthday of them all - today, same day as Gene Simmons.

It didn't get any better. Well, actually it did. Kiss fell out of favour in about 1982, after that having the same birthday as Elvis Costello kind of got me through. After that no-one really cared enough to bother. Such is life, my childhood wasn't always the happiest around, still I had as much fun as I could make, I learnt a lot and I read more books than most people would read in a lifetime. I also made myself promises.

Turning 40 is supposed to be a big deal. We've always been told, 'Life begins at 40," so with that in mind, as a youth, I set myself goals. Most I didn't reach, some I did. I wanted to be published before I turned 40 - I've done that, several times over. I wanted to be controversial, I do that each time I reply to certain people's emails. I wanted kids - got two of the best little buggers a man could have. I wanted happiness, contentment and companionship - finally got that, in spades. I've more contentment than any person should have, but I'm not complaining. I wanted to have chums. I had precious few of those growing up (I kid you not. I don't speak, nor do I hear from, virtually anyone I went to school with. Nor do I have much desire to do so - I tried once, put myself out there and re-established contact with school 'friends', only to get rebuffed. Such is life and so be it. In a way it's like life for me didn't exist until the late 1980s and there's nothing wrong with that) and now I have several, all over the world, famous, infamous and not famous at all. However they're all people and I adore them all.

Most importantly I wanted to make it to my 40th. I remember a girl telling me when I was 15 that I'd not make 21. I wasn't suicidal, I wasn't even self-destructive. I was depressive. I guess in those days if the term Emo had existed then I'd have been considered to be one, albeit a goth that listened to Billy Joel. Go figure. I remember telling her that not only would I make it to 21 but when I turned 40 I'd have a huge party with all my pals and she'd not be invited. Well I'm here, party time is tonight and I have no idea at all as to where that girl is. It'll be a big party, not all my pals as they're scattered to all corners of the globe, but a lot of the ones who count the most. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm happy to be 40. I'm happy with my lot in life, I'm happy with where I am and who I'm with. I'm happy with life in general.

Life indeed does begin again. It's been a rollercoaster ride so far, and I'm strapping in for more!

So anyone who's having a birthday today, make it a good one and many happy returns - that especially includes Julie Hembeck and Elvis Costello.


Kevin said…
Not to worry, 40 is the new 20. I should know because I am 50. You have the best years of you life ahead of you. Besides, who really needs hair anyway? :-)
Anonymous said…
I 57 today, on April Fools Day. I know I'll remember the name of this blog, one of my favorite videos on youtube is a great rendition of the song Danny Boy by Judith Durham. Best wishes.

Allen Smith

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