Today I'm turning forty
And my joints are getting creaky,
But I'm hoping it's still many years
'Til the nether realm is leaky.
Today I'm turning forty,
And I really shouldn't worry,
Though my list of lofty goals
Had better clear up in a hurry.
Today I'm turning forty
So I'm making you aware,
That my middle parts are saggy,
And I'm losing bits of hair.
I've gathered several battle scars,
my body needs repair,
So you'll please ignore the groaning
As I stand up from a chair,
And you'll please ignore the grunting
As I labor up the stairs.
All these things are bound to happen
After years of wear and tear.
Forty's just the middle,
Still got decades left to go.
All this awesomeness and belly
Still have decades left to grow.
This is a poem I wrote for my own 40th birthday. First, because every occasion should be marked by a poem. Second, because I wanted to remind myself that 40 is really not that old, and I still have loads of living left to do. For the kids reading this forty may seem super old, but it’s really not. Statistically speaking, I still have 40 whopping more years to go.. at least. That’s 40+ years more donuts to eat, more poems to write, more puns to share, more books to write, more questionably sane science experiments, and more time to embarrass my kids. All these things can still be accomplished even with creaky knees, jiggly belly, and other middle-age maladies in play. For that reason and more, 40 is an exciting time for me.
Whatever age you are now, there is something special that will probably only happen to you during this time of your life. There is no “best age” if you’re really living and taking time to count your blessings. Every age can be the best. I miss my childhood years full of dreamy discovery and free time. I miss my high school and early college years where I was learning so many new and difficult subjects and learning how to be an adult. I miss when I was first married, and when I had my first baby. I know that in a few years I’ll miss being 40. But all the while, I’m feeling excited about this year and all the things I can cram into it. Missing old things doesn’t have to ruin the now things. Always remember that and your someday creaky knees won’t really bother you that much, because with those creaky knees will come a giant, exciting pile of new opportunities.
Don’t fear 40, or 50, or 100. There will still be donuts and many new accomplishments to be had.