Let’s not make a drama out of a mid-life crisis…

It's my 40th birthday today. A good time to reflect. Excuse the self-indulgence.

I guess when you get to 40 it's easy to start thinking that you're about half way through (given a fair wind). I'm not seeing it like that. 

I've kind of packed up my childhood, adolescence and education – incredibly enjoyable as it all was – and filed it under 'formative years' (or something like that). I started my professional life just 16 years ago; so as far as I see it that's when responsible, independent adulthood really started. On that basis, therefore, I'm maybe only about a third of the way through (with that fair wind). Sounds better, no?

I'm starting a new phase in my professional life and I'm hugely excited about it. I've got more working years to complete than I've already been through, so I should be able to get quite a lot done, particularly as I should be learning less and doing more (though I hope I never stop learning). And that bodes well, because I'm pretty happy with what I've achieved in the last 16 years.

I've formed a career in a stimulating industry and met loads of interesting and inspiring people along the way. I've made a decent living, manage to put some away for the future and spent a fair bit on some brilliant experiences and things. I've met a girl, moved in with her, bought property, married and had two brilliant, vibrant and healthy kids. We've moved to a beautiful part of France, live in a nice house and have created a successful little holiday business

I have some simply fantastic friends. Really, they're the best. 

I get to ride my bike in some stunning scenery with good mates and raise cash for very worthy charities. I've enjoyed good health so far (touch wood) and I'm not in bad shape for a 40 year old. I've still got most of my own hair. 

I'm happy. I'm really very happy.

The future is full of opportunity. Sure, there are things that I'm concerned about and there'll be ups and downs, but I feel able to meet the challenges ahead. I hope you do too.

Onwards.
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21 thoughts on “Let’s not make a drama out of a mid-life crisis…

  1. Good on ya. Sounds like a fairly marvellous life really

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks Melissa. it’s not bad at all.

  3. Dawn says:

    You’re in denial. You’re 40 for God’s sake – at least have the decdency to be a little bit depressed!

    Damn you and your ceaseless optimism.

  4. Drew B says:

    Lovely blog post Mark. Nicely put.

  5. Mark says:

    Coming from you Dawn..? You’re my optiminspiration.

  6. Mark says:

    Thanks Drew.

  7. Sally says:

    Nice post.

    However, you fail to take account of the fact that responsible adulthood doesn’t technically start until at least a couple of years after you start working – surely the first year or so is all about blowing your newfound wealth (or so it seems in comparison to a student grant) on expensive holidays and imported beer?

  8. Mark says:

    It’s a good point Sally. In fact, I think it lasted for more than a year or two. But I also think I always knew that I’d need to pay for it all eventually, somehow!

  9. james warren says:

    yeah, all very impressive, but you’re still a prick

    albeit a massively generous prick that we all love and respect and that makes us laugh and that lives in the most amazing house in the world and that has two wonderful incredible children and a beautiful, intelligent and charming wife and that has started businesses and grown businesses and achieved more personally and professionally than it’s really humanly decent to achieve in one lifetime and earned respect and made lifelong friends along the way and rides bloody sodding bicycles up bloody sodding enormous mountains and calls it fun and that cooks like a proper chef and serves the finest wine i’ve ever tasted and is intellectually stimulating and funny and not too shabby at golf either. nice jacket. many happy returns and lots of love, you daft (old) bugger

  10. Mark says:

    Knew you’d see straight through it Warren. Damn.

    Prick happens to be one of my favourite words at the moment. And with you using it I know I’m at the cutting edge of curse trends…or ‘fashionswear’, as I like to call it.

  11. Heather says:

    James just insisted that we open ANOTHER bottle of wine in honour of your very special birthday. Rose and all, despite the fact that it’s about 10 degrees and p***ing down and school starts tomorrow. He said it all really, other than you’ve got lovely parents too..

    Down the hatch

  12. Mark says:

    I’m glad you mentioned my folks Heather as I was worried that I hadn’t and they are rather good. And my brother’s a nice man too.

    And thank you. I’m honoured that you’re staying up late drinking in my name. I haven’t drunk nearly enough this evening but as I’m ‘between parties’ I think it’s probably not a bad thing. Friday night’s mojito night. Uh-oh.

    It’s first day back for ours too tomorrow. Champagne breakfast I reckon.

  13. Tom Murphy says:

    Wow Mark, I hope when I’m as old as you I have an equally positive outlook 🙂

    Happy Birthday and here’s to many many many more!

    Enjoy it.
    Tom

  14. Rob says:

    I suppose with all that cycling and despite the vast quantities of wine consumption, you’ll be avoiding middle age spread too!?

  15. Mark says:

    Hoping so Robert, hoping so.

    Tom – you’re not as old as me?! Thanks chum.

  16. Peter Kirwan says:

    Happy birthday, o zen master of happiness…

  17. Matt says:

    Gone on yer, Pinny. I applaud the sentiment. At 46 I can safely say that life gets better and better, apart of course that getting out of bed hurts a bit more and artificial joints are no longer entirely out of the question. My only issue is that you talk a bit about work and how you hope to do more of it. I think post-40 the goal should be to do less of it. Work to Live, and all that, rather than the other way round. Now’s the time to enjoy life as much as possible, while all the bits still function more or less the way they are supposed to. Sod work. It’s a means to an end, that’s all.

  18. Mark says:

    I reckon I’ve already got the ‘work to live’ mantra sorted, but let’s face it, we’re all probably going to have to work that much longer. And anyway, I’m really enjoying what I do for a living right now and have rarely been this excited about my prospects, so make hay while the sun shines I say! And after all, what else am I going to do with my time…mow the lawn? I think not.

  19. Bit late on this one but best blog post I’ve read in ages. Contentedness, that’s where I (we all) want to be. Not (ahem) quite there yet but you’ve got a few years on me.

    Happy birthday.

  20. Mark says:

    Thanks Stephen. I think you’re a man heading in the right direction.

  21. Chris says:

    I’d like to concur with Mr Davies; what a thoroughly vitalising post – although i must admit to chuckling heartily at the ‘yeah whatever, still a prick’ comment in the same way i probably would have done if i was, say, eleven. base humour. it’s the future. FACT.

    either way, i’m waiting for my cab to take me to the airport for my holiday; i’m taking my laptop Pinny and intend on writing lots of my book. hows yours coming on – is this a race? 😉

    happy birthday pal (belated / repeated)

    Chris

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