Thirty six

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In a couple of weeks I’ll be 36 years old.

Admittedly, that’s pretty young for a high court judge or politician but very old for a footballer or an Olympic diver.

In cricketing terms this would be an exciting start to the innings, just 14 runs away from raising the bat and heading on for a decent score.

But if I lived in Mozambique I’d be getting my affairs in order and starting to choose hymns because the average life expectancy is a mere 38. Just shows that when it comes to numbers it’s all about the context.

There comes a time when you stop being the bright you thing and are just a thing, where you stop being up and coming and have basically arrived at wherever it is you’re meant to be.

Statistically, I’m probably now more than half way through my life. If I was a policeman nobody would be saying: “ohh policemen are looking younger and younger these days”.

What are you meant to know by the time you reach middle age? What things are you meant to have learned? I’m no kind of expert but here are a few thoughts on the things I’m glad to have done before that dreaded birthday.

• Meet people from different cultures – maybe even marry one like I did

• Get married spontaniously in Las Vegas

• Be best man at a wedding, really stressful but equally rewarding

• Live and work in London, at least for a time

• Listen to the music you actually like, not what you think you should listen to.

• Travel as much as you can and as often as you can. Get a ‘round the world ticket’ if you can. Work can wait.

• Fly a small plane. You’ll never feel more alive – or scared shitless.

• Sit right behind the goal and watch your team come back from 4 goals down to Arsenal.

• Watch your team lose by 6 goals on boxing day. Seriously you need to learn how to cope with defeat because over a lifetime you’ll lose more than you will win. Unless you’re an F1 driver or Lionel Messi.

• Drive on a race track. Hugely satisfying and cathartic.

• Listen to five years olds, they’re the funniest people you’ll ever deal with.

• See in the New Year in Paris at least once.

• Chose the most obnoxious, least practical car you can afford.

• Miss a flight. You will never be angrier than that.

• I once organised a press launch (basically a piss up) in a brewery. Box ticked.

• Get to know your parents, hang out with them. You never know how long they’ll be around.

What are the must do things before you’re 40? What’s on your pre-mid-life-crisis bucketlist? Share in the comments section.

6 thoughts on “Thirty six

  1. Great post Ross. I particularly identify with bullet 5 and suggest that public acknowledgement of the fact shows a ‘distinguished’ degree of maturity…rather than just ‘getting old’. Enjoy your birthday


  2. So young still! Doubt I’ll ever get to fly a plane, or see in the New Year in Paris, or get married (anywhere). I did live and work in London for a few years, many years ago (and had been planning to return).


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