Here's what I learned last week on my 40th birthday: you can dread that particular milestone all you want, but it's going to happen whether you like it or not. Assuming you're lucky enough to live that long, that is.
There was a time when 40 seemed absolutely ancient to me, and it's still a number that holds a non-trivial amount of weight. I mean, Justin Bieber, a legal adult, has a mother who is three years younger than me. Nixon was president when I was born, and gas cost $0.53 a gallon. I've been too old to apply to be on The Real World for TWO DECADES.
Aside from my reluctance to permanently retire my spring-chicken status, I thought I had a pretty good idea about what life would be like when I hit the big 4-0. As it turns out -- at least so far, one week into my fortieth year -- I was wrong about almost everything.