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Into the fifth decade

Mark Wahlberg turns 40 today. Noah Wyle turned 40 yesterday.

Me, I’ve been on the other side of 40 for a few days now.

I have a vivid recollection of a kitchen conversation between my Dad and one of his friends that took place some short time after my Dad had turned 40. They pondered how upon reaching 40, a man can’t help but assess his entire life, acknowledge his achievements, accept his failures, recognize his regrets about past decisions, re-evaluate his priorities… Somehow that conversation always shaped my attitude towards reaching the age of 40 as being disproportionally more significant compared with any other age.

Well, I can definitely report that I don’t feel any different physically.

And mentally? I suppose I’d appear awfully disingenuous if I complained about my life. I have a wonderful family, incredible friends, I am reasonably successful professionally, fortunate to earn enough money to afford comfortable existence. Regrets about roads not taken? Everybody has them, don’t tell me that you don’t. The approach of the big four-oh did sharpen my focus on some of those regrets in the past few months, and I have a feeling that I’ll be working through that for a while. But overall, it’s been pretty good first 40 years of mine.

Those younger guys, Mark and Noah, I hear they’ve done pretty well for themselves, too.


  1. jason

    Happy belated birthday, Ilya. Welcome to the other side. I tend to struggle a lot more with the looking-back-and-regretting thing than many people, but I can report that life continues. And from what I know of your life, you’re in a pretty good situation.

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