In less than four weeks, I’ll hit my forties. This is, I think it’s safe to say, the moment I officially wave goodbye to my youth. I mean, sure, that whole concept seems alien to me now, a relic of bygone times, something frittered away as only the youthful can. But in grand terms, 40 seems like a marker with some heft to it. A bit like the heft I’m growing around the middle bit of me, albeit one that can’t just be sorted with a bit of diet and exercise.
It’s just so unequivocal. If you take the average lifespan of a British Male right now, then 40 is right smack dab in the middle. The precipice, leading directly to the downward slope. It’d be pretty easy to look at that downward slope and think ‘I need a sports car to get me down that.’ Which explains the whole midlife crisis thing.
Or, I could look at it as quite the literal glass half full. There’s no point trying to work out where I’m going to end up on that scale of 0-80, but actually the fact that I’m only halfway to the standard point is quite reassuring, in a weird way. When you take the four decades I’ve had so far, they can more or less be broken down along the following lines:
Taking into account that I’ve only attempted the adulting thing within the last decade and a tiny bit, the fact there’s a couple more where they came from, at the very least, is enough to give me a modicum of hope. Having utterly wasted three decades on my life on frivolities like childhood and drinking until I fall over, it feels less like halfway through, more like I’m still at the start.
Having spent most of those wasted years thinking ‘I want to be a writer’, it’s only been in the last six or seven years that I decided to turn ‘I want’ into ‘I’m going to’. Let’s face it, writing is not the kind of vocation which ones enters into only to call it quits at 65 so you can turn your hand to gardening.
No, I’ll be writing books until I can’t, at which point it’ll be a moot point anyway, so there could be multiple decades left of productivity and chasing the eternal dream. So, I say tish and fipsy to the midlife crisis. I don’t need a shiny car, I just need a laptop and an internet connection, and I already have those.
Although, I’d really like the shiny car, too.
Blood on the Motorway: An apocalyptic trilogy of murder and stale sandwiches is out now in ebook and print from Amazon and all other good bookstores. You can get the first book free by joining my mailing list or read along at Wattpad. Oh, and I’ve got a Patreon. Sign up for free books, a free weekly short story, and much more.