The last of my 40s

When I turned 40, I had an epic birthday party in Mexico. I actually planned for the trip without letting people know exactly where we were going. I disclosed clues in the weeks leading up to the vacation of our location and one friend guessed it. I arranged an all inclusive trip to Mexico for 2 weeks and made arrangements for friends and family to come for 1 or 2 weeks.

I planned a Survivor event vacation as well. I split my friends and family into alliances and planned for a full week of challenges, immunities and votes. They played basketball, they went on treasure hunts, we played a mobile game for points, I had a water snorkel challenge and there was a custom puzzle to solve. Everyone got shirts and buffs. It was super fun for all of us.

My 40th birthday was EPIC! All of my favorite people were there. The weather was great. The resort was awesome. We hired a private driver and toured Mexico. We went to ruins. We went spelunking. Survivor was fun. A child was conceived.

The only thing that sucked was my first pedicure. The lady butchered my toe cuticles and I was bleeding. My wife insists this is not how pedicures are supposed to be, but I’ve never had another in the last 10 years. No thank you!

It’s a great memory and also very hard to replicate. It’s hard not to compare to my plans for 50. I’m just thankful that I get to travel this year. Between COVID, a death in the family and my dad flown back to Canada for a health emergency I wasn’t sure I would still celebrate my birthday. I actually just about didn’t plan anything. I was a little down about it. I thought maybe nothing was better than something. That’s such a crappy mental attitude but really reflects where my mindset was. Then good friends stepped up and said “what are we doing?”. Thanks Dale & Tammy!

I planned a simple trip to Phoenix for sun, shopping and golf. I’m very nervous about traveling and Phoenix is a known destination. But my parents are no longer there; they are back in Canada. So plans have changed and are slightly more complicated. My parents aren’t there but because of that, a bed freed up and I was able to invite a good friend and fellow golfer. I’m still going and I have some special people coming with me to celebrate. I’m so thankful for that, and I’m positive that we’re going to have a great time. Maybe it won’t be epic, but we’re going to create some great memories!

Going to Top Golf on my birthday!

I’m turning 50 on Saturday. It’s finally here. That means that just about everything I do this week is the last time I do it in my 40s. Does anyone else think like this? I never worried or thought about this before. I’m reminiscing a ton.

  • This is my last blog post in my 40s.
  • I already had my last hair cut.
  • I played my last round of virtual golf.
  • I played my last round of real golf (last year). The next time I play real golf, I’ll be 50.
  • I had my last golf lesson.
  • I already shaved and I’m not likely to shave again until I’m 50.
  • I had my last massage.
  • I had my last psychologist appointment.
  • I had my last physio appointment.
  • I completed my last long run Sunday – 12 miles!
My last long run Sunday…

Age has really never bothered me before. I don’t know why 50 feels different. To me, a birthday is the same as the day before and the day after. You are unchanged. It’s just a number. But I’m starting to feel older. COVID changed life a lot; I lived out the last 2 years of my 40s in isolation. Maybe that’s part of the problem. I don’t know what my 50s are supposed to look like. I never really got to finish my 40s “normally”. 50 feels different.

  • I’m closer to senior discounts. I’ve heard some places start offering discounts at 50.
  • I’m at an age when I need to seriously think about retirement plans especially since I hope to retire in my 50s. (late 50s)
  • I’m looking to pay off my mortgage, not extend it or move and thus the house I own is likely the last house I’ll ever buy. The next move will likely be a downsize.
  • Any kind of long term planning means something different in your 50s. For example, buying a cottage or a trailer or a new car with years of term requires different thinking. I don’t really want to take any type of payments or debt into my retirement.

In my 20s, I was finding myself. I dropped out of university. I moved to Calgary and then to Edmonton. I went to NAIT and started my career in IT. I got married and divorced. In my 30s, I was focused on enjoying life and then I met my wife so I focused on our life together. In my 40s, I focused on travel and experiencing life. In my 50s, I imagine I’ll be focused on things that make me happy and my retirement. I’ll likely try to accumulate savings to offer me the best retirement lifestyle that I can afford.

I get why older men seem grumpy. It’s a cliché and a stereotype but it’s true. As I get older, I’m getting grumpier. As I get older, the older generations (Silent & Baby Boomers) start to fade away (and die) and the newer generations (Millennials, Z, Alpha) are growing up. It’s only natural when you get older to get grumpy at change. The younger generations are always pressing for change. There are still generations with us that never grew up with computers or cell phones. The younger generation can’t live without technology. That’s a significant gap.

The older you get, the less you want to change. Why can’t people change to accommodate us old people? The world doesn’t stop moving or changing, even if you’ve slowed down a bit. Heck, at one point, I was pressing for change. Now I find myself pushing back on change.

I find myself grumpy at small things. Everyone should think like me. And that just doesn’t happen. People don’t line up with respect, they rush to the counter to be first. People don’t drive respectfully on the road, they cut you off, and throw up debris on your windshield without thought (happened twice today). Everyone is so busy, no one wants to “small talk” anymore, just get to business. My neighbor uses the shared side of the street for his garbage while I put my garbage on my property. Cat people let their cats go into any yard without care and they crap and dig everywhere. Dog people walk their dogs and don’t pick up after them; the snow melt reveals their lack of respect for the area. It gets my blood boiling. Things like this never used to bother me so much.

So much “me, me and myself” thinking out there. I just wasn’t brought up like that. Perhaps I’m not explaining myself that well. But I’m feeling more like a grumpy old man than ever before…

I’m still from an “older” generation that carries cash. I also still like to get a paper bill in the mail, even if I’m on automated payments. I still have a home phone. Regular batteries are still more reliable than rechargeable batteries. I read actual paperback books.

There was a time when I embraced change. And for some things, I still don’t mind change. I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last 6 months learning about cryptocurrency. Talk about big change that doesn’t make sense to the older generations. I’ve given up cheques and embraced e-transfers. I use online banking for almost all of my banking needs. I’m okay with virtual doctor and virtual psychologist visits. I thrived with work from home. (If anything I’m struggling with the thought of returning back to the office…) I Netfile my taxes.

Time passes by faster when you are older. The math is simple. When you are ten, one year is 10% of your life. When you are twenty, one year is 5% of your life. So 1 year moves slower compared to the rest of your life when you are younger. When you are 50, one year is 2% of your life. That means, in theory, that when I’m 50, one year passes by 5 times quicker than when I was 10 and 2.5 times quicker than when I was 20. It’s still a year in both cases, but the time relative to the number of years you’ve been alive is the defining factor in the algorithm. This is why time seems to pass by quicker as you get older.

And your body feels older. I already have hearing aids because my hearing is degraded. I’m told this is actually good since it’s harder to adjust to hearing aids as a senior. I have lots of back pain; mostly from car accidents from the past. And I can feel arthritis creeping in. I don’t remember things like I used to. I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’ll likely never hit a golf ball further than I do today.

But these are things I can work thru. I continue my back self care with regular physio and massage appointments. I continue with my regular stretching care at home. I’m lifting weights a couple of times a week to keep up my strength. And I’m still taking golf lessons to work on my swing which hopefully I can keep well into my retirement.

I mean, it sounds like I’m focused on the bad. I’m really not. It’s just how I’m feeling. I’m excited about life in my 50s. I’m excited about planning for retirement. I’m excited, if things stay stable with jobs/pay, that we’ll have more disposable income in our 50s. I’m excited about my new found passion for living healthier and running. I’m excited about golf, even if I don’t hit the ball quite as far. I’m excited about travel and experiencing life.

This is the last week in my 40s. So here’s to my 40s. Bring on the 50s! And let’s create more memories together!

One Response

  1. I really enjoyed this blog. It’s great to know other people, ten plus younger than me feel the same way I do about certain things in life. Happy 50th Birthday Dennis!

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