A Month Before 40

Kids, a month from today I will be 40 years old.

Let that sink in…


The big 4-0.

There was a time when I’m sure I thought of 40 as old. That is no longer the case. In fact, I’m not sure I think of any age as old anymore. No, that’s definitely a lie. Particularly when dealing with drivers over a certain age. But that’s neither here nor there.

I’m turning 40, which is traditionally a milestone kind of birthday.

When my father turned 40, it was near my uncle’s (mom’s brother) 40th birthday as well. So Mom and my aunt joined forces to throw the two of them a combined surprise birthday party at my grandparents house. I wasn’t there. It was definitely a party for the grown-ups and I was only 13 at the time.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never been thrown a surprise party. It’s one of those things that’s on my bucket list, but it’s not exactly something I can plan to cross off of my own accord. But as a single guy pushing 40, a surprise party is incredibly unlikely.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciated the surprise birthday party that Paul threw for me on his blog last year. But, and I feel almost certain that he would agree, it’s just not the same as walking into a darkened room and being surprised by your friends and family.

I’m not married and have no girlfriend, so there’s no significant other that I could hope will throw me a party. All of my closest friends live in other cities, so they’re not likely to put something together. And then there’s my mom…

Y’all, she’s got a lot on her plate right now for the past six months. So that’s just not a possibility.

Plus, let’s also consider that I’m not the favorite child. I know, parent’s don’t pick “favorites.” Except that, yeah, they secretly do. And I’ve gathered enough evidence throughout my life to know that April’s the favorite. For the purposes of this post, consider that when I turned 30, I threw myself a party, gathering friends and family together at one of my favorite places to eat. When April turned 30… surprise party! I rest my case.

My birthday is a month away and falls on a Friday. I haven’t been told by anyone that I should keep that evening free. But if it’s meant to be a surprise, would anyone give me that kind of clue? If not, they risk me making plans for… No, that tracks. There’s no way I make plans for a Friday night.

I do have plans for the following evening, but I can guarantee that has no chance of being any kind of surprise birthday party.

For the record, I’m not asking for someone to throw me a surprise birthday party. Kinda makes it less special if you have to request a surprise party. I just don’t see that being one of the things I can cross off my bucket list. But that’s okay… I’ll never cross off “invent time travel” or “visit 1955” either.

I suppose I could throw myself a party of some kind. I’ve done it before. But why? Most of the people I’d want to spend that time with live outside of Roanoke and I doubt they could be bothered to make the drive in. Oh… now there’s an idea… a pity party.


I do know one thing, I’m gifting myself a vacation as soon as I’m able to take the time off from work. I’m not 100% on where I’m going yet, but I’m leaning heavily toward Philadelphia. I’ve never been (other than for an afternoon to see a Phillies game with Dad). There’s a lot of history there, and I do love some history.

I could run struggle up the steps from Rocky. I could lick the Liberty Bell. Actually… with all this coronavirus hubbub I probably shouldn’t be licking any national treasures. Oh, I could visit Jenkintown, the home of one of my favorite current TV shows, The Goldbergs. Though I’m sure it’s nothing like what they portray on television… still, may be fun to check out.

Anyway, I guess that’s the plan for my 40th birthday. Or lack thereof. What would you do if it was your 40th? Maybe you’ve already seen 40… maybe it’s a few years off… Let me know down in the comments!

Feature Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


7 thoughts on “A Month Before 40

  1. I hope you have a great birthday even if no one throws you a surprise party. I knew my “surprise” last year wouldn’t be the same, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I don’t have any experience turning 40, but maybe an idea would be to do/get things that you enjoyed when you were 10, 20, and 30, and enjoy them on your 40th so it’s a reminder that you’re still the same person, only your age is different.

    That got weirdly poetic, like it was from a TV show.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, give yourself a vacation –and a treat every day forever. And a new version of what is a treat. And specially, surprise yourself with kindness. Because as you say, 40 isn’t old and you have decades ahead to be who you want to be. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: So It Turns Out I Did Have a Surprise Birthday Party… | The Confusing Middle

  4. Pingback: The Confusing Middle’s Top 10 Blog Posts from 2020 | The Confusing Middle

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