May 6th, my birthday. The realisation that this is the last year in my 40s. I talked about this with a co-worker and we decided that this is just the worst year. Your 40s are a great decade, relatively care-free, often the first decade where you can start to shake of the debt burden of your 20s and 30s, but 49 represents a full-stop on that. It is officially the last year when you can still call yourself ‘young’. Next year is 50, an exciting year, the start of a new decade with new challenges, and at 50 you are the youngest of all the 50-somethings. However 49 has you stuck in the middle, end of a good era, the next one a year away.
For me 49 was also an age of reflection. When I first met Georgina, one of the first interactions I had with her family was her fathers 50th birthday party. I suppose one of my main recollections of meeting her father was that he was quite overweight, and that, with a combination of working as a spray painter seemed to make for some quite laboured breathing (or so it seemed). Now, at 49 I look at myself in the mirror and I probably have the same physical attributes as Sean did on his 50th party, and I also often have laboured breathing, although I am not a spray painter, My job has me sitting on my arse for hours on end, often many hours without moving, which is apparently more dangerous to my health than smoking and drinking (neither of which I partake in). On my 49th birthday I had a realisation that my job is quite literally killing me, and that I have a real chance of dropping down dead at my desk. I also didn’t want to look like Sean when my own 50th birthday came around.
Change can often be dramatic and very sudden, I am just reading a book on the very subject – The Holy Shit Moment – How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant by James Fell, and for me 6th May 2019 was, I hope, my Holy Shit !! moment.