Monday, 2 July 2012

Old and Knackered?

Picture courtesy of Dan Cloake, an Officer of the Law
And so it was that the fourth decade ended and the fifth began!

Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn't just any old birthday - oh no. It was my fortieth birthday. Some say that life begins. Others would say that it is all downhill (if the cards are anything to go by). 

These 'big birthdays' are a timely moment for pause and reflection. I stopped to think what I was doing as I lurched into my thirties - a day that felt like it was a week ago. Then I was peddling my wares in a West London carpet shop and doing alright with that. I was already married (and had been for five years by then) to the Fragrant Yet Rarely Smelly Mrs Acular (whom I saw a day a fortnight due to working arrangements). We were living as a couple in Sussex and I trudged to work daily through a ninety-minute-plus commute. All my hair was brown, I was in debt up to my nostrils, drove a fast car that I didn't own, in a house I borrowed and with as much sleep as I needed on my days off. Priestly ministry was a pipe-dream-calling that seemed an unlikely matter never destined to be fulfilled. I had stopped going to church because of the work I did and the hours it demanded of me. 

This time around, I am forty and the browns are giving way to the whites and the silver. I am the good side of the lengthy process that means I am undertaking the ministry I was created and born to do. I am a priest in God's Church. I am working in such a good parish setting that I truly wouldn't wish to be anywhere else right now (sincerely). I am blessed with two perfect and wonderful children who do more to make me happy than any humans could ever hope to do - and they don't even try. My amazing soul-mate and wife is still by my side and we now even manage to get a day together in the week. I have gathered more wonderful and generous friends. I feel like I have settled in to my own life for the first time and can, for the first time since I started working, not worry about the next house move, job move, or role-shift. I can finally dedicate myself to what I am and to what I do, and do justice to the short moments that I call my life. 

So, I am forty. I am a decade light of life compared to that moment what I flicked thirty. However, I busked my way through that decade hoping for something more at every stage. I was on my way to a place I didn't know and couldn't see and I spent more of that decade wishing myself away from where I was than to remain where I found myself. Now, I have it all. I lack for nothing. I can truly and honestly say, without pathos or drama, that if it came to an end for me tomorrow I could not ache for the things I didn't have or do. The only ache would be for not having more of the same. 

Happy birthday to me. 


  1. Happy Birthday for yesterday x

  2. Welcome to this side of the hill - the view's lovely and it's all downhill from now on anyway, so it's easy...... ;-)

  3. I'm told the first 60 are the worst. But I'm happy for your happiness. Good news stories are a bit short on the ground today.

  4. UK viewer is wrong. The first 75 are the worst and some of them are not so bad (in retrospect).
    Welcome to where the 'real people' live, and may you continue to be happy for as many more as there are.
    If you find your spirits flagging just look at the picture at the top of your blog.
    Says it all!

  5. Happy Birthday Rev! How wonderful to know you are in the right place. Well done and here's to the next 40 years!

  6. Lovely post. I need to read more stuff like this. Isn't it wonderful to /know/ that you are truly blessed?

  7. Happy Birthday. Most people are quite depressed about turning 40 so it is wonderful to have your optimism instead. I changed my life around when I turned 40 because I didn't feel like I had it all. It is funny how 40 can be a turning point.

  8. Happy Birthday! Remember you are YOUNG ( you better had be, because I am five years older and I am :) )

  9. Happy 40th, David, you youngling. :-) Long may life continue to be so satisfying for you.

  10. Happy Birthday, belatedly, but importantly. Glad God has seen fit to fulfill his calling on your life since last time you checked in with a zero. Wonder where you'll be next time it comes round?

  11. When I was younger ... say, 20-ish ... I wondered if there would be anything to live for once 40 rolled around. Well, now that I'm approaching 65, I frequently have a good chuckle over my former short-sightedness. I'm rather excited about turning 96, and for no particular reason.

    Happy belated birthday; and may I add: The best is yet to come!



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