This week I’m turning 45. Most people tend to celebrate in big style milestones in their lives; birthdays (50 years) wedding anniversaries in multiples of 5 and many other occasions to mark a point in their lives determined by the time that has elapsed.
I usually don’t celebrate these events, whether big milestones or not, as I’m a great believer that we should celebrate thing all the time.
Why do we make a big fuss over a day someone was born but yet we don’t remember them for the reminder of the year? I guess what put me off celebrations like this was when some years ago someone, who never remembered me 364 days of the year, sent me a birthday card (which was a week later than the actual day I was born) and it contained 4 words “happy birthday to you”. I looked at the enormous white space, which dominated the card and then focused my eyes back onto the four words. That’s when I knew that this was not for me and I would not waist my time and money celebrating something that was meaningless. Meaningless in as far as we are celebrating just one day instead of celebrating all 365 of them.
This, of course, does not mean I do not pay attention to special days; of course I do, particularly with my kids. Children like to feel special so I wouldn’t think of not celebrating their birthday, and I do like to congratulate those who I know a birthday is a special day. But if tomorrow you forgot to say to me “happy birthday to you” I would not take it against you, as long as I’m in your thoughts all 365 days of the year!
Having said all that, this year I do feel something special. And turning 45 has made me think about my life. Why? Well, unlike most people who would see celebrating 50 as a big thing, I think 45 is a special age in anyone’s life. I sat and reflected on this for a while after I engaged in a conversation with someone about this. God willing and if I look after myself properly, I suspect I will be around until I’m about 90. I think this is a good age to get to, and from personal experiences, most people get there in good shape. Anything after this is a bonus and in some cases it’s the downward turn, when things begging to go wrong as we become frail in our old age, so to get to 90, healthy and happy is a great achievement.
That’s my goal, 90. After I established this it dawned on me that turning 45 is then a big milestone, yes in other words “I am half way there!” So I began to pay particular attention to what I’ve done so far. I thought “if I’m half way there, then I only have half left!” and I began to take stock of all the things that I’ve done, thinking I have another 45 years ahead of me to do everything I haven’t done yet; make up for all those things I did wrong and enjoy another 45 years of a great gift, a gift that was given to me at birth, my life.
I found out I’ve done a lot and I’ve missed a lot but I don’t regret many things. There are a few things I would do different, if I had the chance… wait a minute, I do have the chance!
There are a few regrets, to say that one does not have any I think is not true, as at some point we all have made mistakes in our lives, what is important is to know you’ve made those mistakes and better yourself as a result of that moment in your life when you said to yourself “oh dear…that didn’t go well…” I’ve had 45 years of life long experiences that have opened up my mind to accept that I have another 45 years to do things right.
So what is there to look forward for the next half? I guess it’s a bit like playing a sport of two halves, you’ve gone in and play the first half and now you are half way, you don’t know what to expect for the second half but you know you only have that second half to win! You’ve had the first half to try and learn your opponent and now you have new tactics to help you win the match. I’m not sure what is on the other side of 45, but what I do know is that there is so much I want to do, so much I want to achieve and I’m conscious that I am half way there, so there is not much time left!
So watch this space, as they say, as I know I’m now half way there, the biggest gift I’m getting this year is a shot at the next 45 years of my life!