Honestly, I never imagined myself in my mid-40s.
Which is not to say that when I was younger I expected I would be dead by now or anything. I never led a life that was either that exciting or depressing. I just simply never imagined myself as a middle-aged dude, because honestly, who does? Who imagines themselves being no longer young yet not exactly old, balding and somewhere in the middle of whatever career one is doing when one grows up? Being middle-aged is no great accomplishment in itself; you just have to make it through your 20s without getting hit by a bus then wait a bit from there. There it is: Your forties.
So, no. Never imagined myself in my forties. But I suppose that just means that everything here in my fifth decade is both a surprise and a thrill. I have a career I love and it’s going well. I have a daughter I love who gives me constant joy and occasional (well, constant) sarcasm. I have friends reaching as far back as second grade who are amazing, accomplished people, who I am delighted I get to know and snipe at. I have a wife who is the core of my life and who after 20 years together I still openly gawk at and wonder what I did to deserve such a spectacular women, whose physical gorgeousness is the least wonderful thing about her. I travel across the country — and in fact will travel across the country today — and get to meet people who like what I do enough to come out and see me when I show up in their city.
Basically, the forties kind of rock for me.
There are some downsides, I suppose. I am balding, and at the moment (not visible from the picture above) am rocking a kind of “Friar Tuck” tonsure hair pattern. I do have a little arthritis in one of my hips, although at this point I have to really torque it to notice (I am told that will eventually change). And when 10pm rolls around, what I really want to do is go to bed, because my body is going to wake me up by 6am whether I want it to or not. So I’m not exactly Mr. Excitement. But honestly if these are my downsides at the moment, I should just shut up about them right now. Here’s me shutting up about them.
As noted, I will be celebrating my birthday by going on the road: I travel to Los Angeles today to begin my book tour, which will take me all over the country over the course of the next three weeks. On one hand, yeah, it’s not great to be traveling on my birthday. On the other hand, I think about why I’m traveling and I have to admit there are far worse reasons to get on a plane on my 44th, and besides this means I get a Double Double animal style on my birthday SO I WIN. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you (well, some of you, anyway) through May. And also to my Double Double. And to being 44. Let’s see where things go from here.