So here we are in Blog World, does this mean I can call myself a blogger, well I suppose this is my first new experience as I turn 40 during 2018.
Today I have woken up to snow and ice here in Stirling , as I was having my medicinal coffee to kick start the day, I was looking up at a snowy Wallace Monument (picture above) and just contemplating the history of Scotland. William Wallace never get to be 40 as he died at 35 so never had to consider a potential Mid life Crisis….
Well what will turning 40 really mean? I have not thought about it a huge amount but everyone around me seems to think it will have some effect on me with constant comments like:
‘Do you think you will have a Midlife Crisis or have you started it already?
Are you having a big party to celebrate?
It’s only downhill from here!
40 – It’s only a number!
All of these comments make becoming 40 feel like a big life changing moment or for some a crisis point in life.
Some people say they love being 40 yet others fear it terribly.
As a 39 year old man with a great wife and 2 daughters I wonder if it will really have any impact at all on my life or if it will pass me by just like any other year and birthday?
My Midlife Musings
If I am truly honest, due to the people around me mentioning it and asking how I feel about it? I have thought a little about this mid-life stage I am at and over the last few months wondered how it would take shape.
I was unfortunate to have pneumonia last June and I think this took more out of me than I thought in terms of energy and stamina, I noticed this especially once the infection had gone and I was over the worst. Yet I found decision making, concentration and focus really difficult for a few weeks.
As I lay in hospital and doctors and medics spoke with me about my condition, it did make me start to think about my mortality a little and review my life so far! (ok sounds heavy and depressing..But all is well now!)
With No stamina and energy physically , this alone made me stop for a while and think where I was in life, what was important to me, what had I achieved so far and made me asses many things for example did I have a balance in life between, work, family, health, downtime etc, (I think Life Balance seems to be the IN phrase currently!)
I am not sure I came to any great or significant findings, but it did make me stop and appreciate the blessings I do have; a great and supportive family, good health generally, a supportive work environment and not to many things to worry about ( although there is always something in the worry box!)
I think the key thing for me after this time was to be thankful for what I have and not to focus on what I don’t have. To be very thankful for general good health and always make the most of everything!
The BIG 4-0
In thinking about turning 40 there is obviously the celebratory things like parties, meals, presents, cards and gatherings, but more significantly will anything change?
People often say men can get a bit grumpier, a little more inward and even a little anti social and less patient ( or is that just what people have said to me?) the many questions I have about entering Mid life would include:
Will it change my personality?
Will it make me question life?
Will it change my relationships?
Will it impact my Faith?
Will I become Wiser?
Will I have a Midlife Crisis?
Will I become even grumpier?
I am not quite sure what life will be like come December 2018, but one thing I know is that I need to look forward to what’s a head, and not be fearful or anxious about it. I just need to remember the phrase ‘ Carpe Diem’ and seize the moment!
The 40/40 Challenge
So one thing that has changed since my pneumonia along with the thought of coming to mid life, is my general health. I have always been a heavy shape and size. I have always been active, but general fitness maybe needed to be improved or should I say significantly improved.
Last August I started on a walking challenge and found I really enjoyed it, not just because I was active going out for a walk, but surprisingly I also found it was really good for my mind and processing thoughts and actions of that day, helped the planning for the next day ahead. I found spending a few moments to focus in fresh air was just what I needed; I think this is what is now known as my wellbeing!
On one of my 10k step walks I decided I would set myself a challenge and call it the 40/40 Challenge, it meant I had to set myself a goal to lose 40lbs in 40 weeks before I will be 40!
I have been quite focused on this towards the end of 2017 and hope you can encourage and support this journey I am on in 2018.
For those who loves stats: So far as I am 50% through my 40/40 Challenge, I have walked over 2.1 million steps, walked over 1500 Kilometres and had 13,000 active minutes keeping my heart rate above normal. All this has to be good for me, right?
As I launch into 2018, thanks for following my journey and I hope as I post I can encourage you wherever you are in life and you can support me during 2018.
Ps. Dad Joke time: What do you call an Elephant in a phone box?……………….STUCK!