was born one day after I was, on Feb. 23rd.
He sent me a funny happy birthday message
that said, "40... is the new 39."
Now, Kevin's a riot - and he oughta be. Like
many of the best storytellers and wordsmiths,
he was a professional stand-up comic in a
But something struck me about what he said.
It was the way the numbers LOOKED to me...
40 versus 39...
FORTY versus Thirty-Nine...
SIDEBAR: There's a sub-modal lesson hiding
in here somewhere about the implications of
pricing and the psychological effect that certain
numbers create in the mind of your readers...
There's just something about the number "40"
as it pertains to age.
The big four "Oh...."
It's a milestone... like 30 - but more "serious."
A few days ago, I was in my "thirties"... but now
I'm officially middle-aged. Forty.
39 still has a toe clinging to distant former youth.
39 is still a cool "Dude." 40 is more like "Dad."
Of course, I've been both for a decade, but still.
It's even more ego-crushing than the cute girl
at the checkout counter you think is checking
you out - until she calls you, "Sir..."
Or for the ladies, that muscularly yummy stock
clerk who smiles and calls you, "Ma'am..."
Ouch. Just like that... we realize that our shell
no longer represents the mind that controls it.
I still FEEL like I did when I was 20, just a little
grumpier some days and a bit rusty in some of
the moving parts. You should hear my feet and
ankles crackle when I get up in the morning!
Granted, there's those wrinkles in the corners
of my eyes and some extra bulges in places I
never used to "bulge" before...
Surely we can all agree there's not much that's
particularly compelling about arriving at that
Too young to relate? Just don't die... and watch
But all that said... something transformative has
happened to me as I ponder all that's transpired
in my life thus far. And consider what's yet to
I realize I've all but detached from any sense of
needing to prove anything to anybody - including
myself. The good opinion of others has so little
importance to me these days that sometimes I
have to WORK at internalizing what others say.
You might call it confidence or certainty... you
wouldn't be wrong.
But you wouldn't be exactly right, either...
You might call it clarity or experience... those
labels certainly apply.
But they don't encapsulate the feeling either.
It's more a feeling of having finally dialed in the
frequency of "knowing" on an internal tuner.
The signal to noise ratio has never been better.
As I write this, my wife and child are asleep.
The house is quiet... there's only the gentle
clicking of my keyboard as I type and these
words magically appearing on the screen
in a stream of consciousness.
I guess that's the other gift you receive at 40...
A deeper sense of appreciation for what you
already have and less concern about what
Sold! : )
I want you to know that I appreciate YOU as
well and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Please don't be shy... hit "Reply".
All my best,
Brian "Old Fart" McLeod