For some this experience is traumatic, it signifies the end of an era within their life; their youth no more, for others it’s no big deal.
For me, I’m not really sure what turning 40 means, other than I’ve lived for 175200 days and by the life expectancy averages have that many remaining. In that time frame, I’ve managed not get killed by some horrible disease, drunk driver, etc, or managed to kill myself doing something stupid or foolish. When I think back on times of my youth, there are things that I’ve done that I would not ever consider doing at this age, however, I managed to stay alive. As a infant and child my parents manged to keep me fed, keep me hydrated and keep me away from any mortal danger. As I sit here writing this, my wife and kids are shopping for a birthday present for a niece who is soon to turn 5 years old, and I’m realizing that turning 40 has had impact on my life. As I sit hear waiting for the Ibuprofen to take hold and reduce some of the pain that’s in my right knee and ankle, I can feel the nausea starting to creep in, a symptom that Ibuprofen has when taken on an empty stomach.
There wasn’t any binary change from turning 40, there wasn’t any switch being flipped where I went from having no pain to having pain. The change has been gradual, …very gradual. In addition to the pain there are other symptoms. For example it’s a real chore to stay awake past 10:00pm. I don’t know if I can attribute this to specifically to getting older, or my 5:00am alarm for the last 5 1/2 years. So things like concerts are really no longer fun because I find myself desperately wanting the show to end, because all I really do is want to get to bed. How pathetic is that? One of my favorite things in the world used to be staying up to the wee hours of the morning reading things on the internet on the days I didn’t have to work. Now it’s a struggle, and I often find the eye lids getting heavy and the double vision coming on much too early now.
I also can no longer sit for lengths of time in any one spot, my knees, hips, and back will start to ache, my remedy; constantly shift my position. When sitting on the couch after work, I find my self constantly crossing and re-crossing my legs, this is mainly due to hip pain, but may also be the source of my hip pain…who knows. If the barometer has dropped and it’s about to rain, I really feel the pain, specifically in my left knee. This is a knee that I broke when I was 13 years old when I jumped over a wrought iron fence and landed directly on it from a height of about 5 feet. I walked around on it for 3 days before it was diagnosed as broken, I still have pain in it today.
All in all getting old really sucks.