This is 40. And it doesn’t feel a day over 30.
Except, left shoulder and right knee complain at the first unusual twist while exercising, or bending to pick up something heavy.
Except, I can no longer devour my food. It needs to be taken in smaller portions throughout the day, or I will feel bloated and my pants will feel uncomfortably tight.
Except, I now have to squint my eyes in order to read the next street’s sign or recognize the face of the person waiving at me from the other end of the sidewalk.
Except, I now need at least a full eight hours of sleep after a night of drinks, when I used to be able to just shower quickly and get on with my day the next morning.
Except, drinking on planes will now leave me groggy and with a headache, forcing me to resort to water or tea instead.
Except, food that is too spicy will have me postpone morning meetings in order to tend to an upset stomach.
Except, it now takes all my mental and physical strength not to abandon long distance races halfway, when I used to just work to improve my time every year.
Except, there are now signs of hair retrieval that keep making my forehead look larger. And it’s doing it unevenly, just to make things more fun.
Except, the things I used to like (movies, videogames, songs) keep turning 25, 30, 40 years old... They are all now considered retro, rare.
Except, the prospect of even mild success in a high performance sport continues to approach zero, while players keep looking more like kids each year.
Except, I can no longer afford the luxury of cheap liquor drinkage without getting my insides fried and losing most of the productivity of the next day.
Except, the best is no longer ahead. The days of unlimited potential keep turning into days of “just do what you’re supposed to do”. Someone else is the new wonder kid at the office.
Except, dance clubs with 80s music keep getting scarcer. It’s almost impossible to find a 70s disco club, and 90s music sounds more and more distant.
Except, my music heroes keep dying, and there are less potential replacements to choose from that remain alive.
Except, relationships keep getting more and more complex. The checklist grows longer, and my patience more limited.
Except, friends that would have done anything for you have reset their priorities. They are now family men and women. Their unconditional friendship is a relic now, remembered with nostalgia.
Except, love is no longer as deep and passionate. It is now colder, more calculated. I’m now jaded, and more practical.
Except, love is no longer expected to last forever, and there are less hard feelings for those that –unwillingly or otherwise – manage to break our heart.
Except, life just got noticeably shorter and less relevant. You finally collected the properties of the same color in your monopoly, but everyone is already playing a different game.
Yet, being alive is still better than the alternative.