Life after death . . . of a fortysomething
My last blog entry bemoaned the imminent arrival of my 50th birthday . . . a date I had looked forward to with a mixture of dread and sheer, unadulterated panic.
Well, it's been and gone and I can happily report that there is life after the death of your forties.
What's more, I'm actually looking forward to my fifties. That might sound weird, but I feel like I've been at the wrong end of a decade for far too long.
Now that I've taken the first few tentative steps into a new era, there's a completely different road stretching out before me.
I don't feel any older, so why should I care where it leads? After all, it's not an adventure if you know where you're going.
If that sounds like a lot of hippy-dippy, new-age hogwash, then perhaps that's what advancing years does to you.
The experience of having a parent with senile dementia has taught me that, for many people, you wind up back where you started anyway.
It's certainly true that the older you get, the more childlike you become. In some areas of your life, at least.
For example, you care less about saying the right thing at the right time and simply speak your mind instead.
And you don't get so uptight about the prospect of making a fool of yourself.
Having the confidence to try something new and not worry too much about the consequences of failure come from being comfortable in your own skin and knowing what you're capable of.
It's incredibly liberating to get to a place where you feel you know who you are and don't have to be forever winning the approval of others.
But that doesn't mean I no longer have ambitions or plans for the future. In fact, I probably have more plans than ever.
The difference now is that I have a greater understanding of what is achievable and what is a pipe dream . . . and a better focus on where my priorities should lie.
Which is why I'm more than ready to say goodbye to those fearsome forties and hello to my (hopefully) fab fifties. I'm up for the challenge!