J-P Wooding: Why I’m happy to be celebrating my 40th birthday

J-P has been celebrating his 40th birthday
J-P has been celebrating his 40th birthday

“It’s all downhill after 40!” “Life begins at 40!”

As I celebrated my 40th birthday across the past week (or two) I heard both of these sayings and a couple more that I won’t repeat! Which one is true? As far as I’m concerned, neither!

Of course they are both very broad statements that cannot apply to all everyone.

Surely we all experience different events in our lives that have shaped our development as a family member, friend, professionally and in many other areas.

Society in general has also changed from times when both the above quotes were more widely agreed-with.

When people left education and walked straight into jobs at 16, their paths in life may well have followed to a point where, at the age of 40, they may have passed their peak.

For others, events may have conspired to dictate that at 40 they were achieving their potential.

As I have grown older I have seen the change from it being suggested that 30 was the “top of the hill,” to 40 taking over the mantle of this and swiftly passing it on to even 50 and 60; an age that by many was considered retirement. Well certainly not any more.

Physically, things may go downhill after 40, but not to a catastrophic level.

Professionally, you would think you have amassed experience to be confident in what you do, without being complacent but maintaining the desire to achieve more.

Sociologically, you are aware of your closest, most reliable friends.

Personally my recent experiences of 40, the celebrations in particular, were exactly that; celebrations.

With family and friends, I celebrated long-term friendship and support from family; whether we were all together hunting Easter eggs, being hustlers on the pool table, enjoying surprise meals, solving murders or sending messages to me from afar, all greatly appreciated.

Together with my own feelings and thoughts, the past weeks have cemented what I already knew and have further enhanced my hopes and confidence for the future.

So with that in mind, I am grateful that I am 40 and I look forward to sharing my future years with those closest to me.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my friends and family who have celebrated with me over the years and for recently reminding me of their importance in my life.

You know who you are!

Read more from J-P here.