Anticipating 40

A news story today discusses how life expectancy for BC men has fallen slightly to about 80.

Reading that felt like an acute reminder that my 40th birthday in November is a probable halfway point for my life, though of course the population statistic and any individual’s experience can be quite different.

Thinking ahead to the event makes me wish I still had a large and active group of friends to bring together, an ongoing history of recent parties, or a place suitable for such a function. As it is, with friends so spread out and largely dormant, it would probably be depressing to try for a large gathering and end up with a small one and a lot of ‘regret that I cannot attend’ messages.

I have been getting struck sometimes recently with the pain of knowing some memory is forever lost and unrecoverable. Seeing Vancouver and family albums there was a reminder that, even for those with privileged lives, the past and the kind of events that characterized it become inaccessible, both because relationships and the wide world change progressively and irreversibly.

I don’t know what I want to do for the event, but I am thinking with new seriousness about it now that it feels more like a moment to take stock, celebrate and mourn what has happened so far, and try to apply any wisdom learned for the future. I wonder if anyone has ever marked their 40th with a half funeral or installation 1 of 2 of their memorial service?

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

One thought on “Anticipating 40”

  1. This was a year of enormous personal achievement: the completion of extensive activism, research and writing. It was also a year of traveling and connecting with your brothers, family members old and new. It is also the first time to have your own living space, albeit a humble one. Katrina is a beautiful and intelligent companion in your life. There is so much to celebrate even though the world is submerged in problems. Your family is cheering for you and grateful that you are in our hearts and minds.

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