I never really understood the whole quarter-life crisis thing.
Granted, I’m fully aware that -- at 23 years of age -- the referee is just about ready to blow his whistle on the first quarter of my life, yet I still can’t really say that “crisis” is the operative word to illustrate how I feel about it.
The way I’ve always seen it, I still have my best days ahead of me.
Allow me to explain.
Most of my friends hit a bit of a slump after graduating college -- in many ways, an economic and social recession of sorts.
After saying goodbye to the frat house -- full of wild parties, impromptu female nudity and a general ignorance to responsibility -- my friends had all but assumed that life’s slow, yet calculated, downward spiral had already begun.
I, on the other hand, maintained a more positive outlook when it came to the future.
Sure, I understood my days as a social butterfly were probably numbered. I realized I would probably never get the chance to go to another EDM festival (which wasn’t really a bad thing) and my metabolism would never be the same, but I didn’t really get caught up about it.
Life is a constant trade-off. And I recognized that, in order to make the most of my adult life, I’d have to let go of some aspects of my youth -- which was fine with me.
From years of observing my father at home, and his father and the fathers of all my friends, I really wasn’t too bothered by the lifestyle. Like I said earlier, I surely wasn’t in a state of crisis about waging past the quarter-life mark.
In my opinion, men don’t truly hit their prime until the age of 40, anyway. When you hit 40, it’s like a giant weight has finally been lifted from your shoulders.
I imagine that turning 40 will feel like those last few weeks of college -- when you’re done doing all of your “real work,” and you can finally just kick back and wait for your time to come.
It’s really no different. When you turn 40, you’re just about done with all of the “real work” you’ll be expected to complete, with regard to life -- sh*t like marriage, child-rearing and holding down a job -- and you’re pretty much just coasting on till the finish line.
I’m not kidding -- 40 is literally the peak age for a guy. If you still don’t fully understand what I’m saying, I’ll break it down for you.
Working at 40
At 40, there really isn’t much to stress about.
At work, it’s likely you’ve already maxed out your potential, so there really isn’t that constant pressure to have to impress anyone.
I mean, generally speaking, the only pressure you'll have at 40 is to beat rush hour on the way home and crack open a cold one on the couch before the game starts.
When you’re young, work is a constant ass-kissing contest, and if you have any ambitions of being successful, you’re usually the first one puckering up.
Yet, when you’re 40, you don’t really give any f*cks anymore. As long as your place of work offers a decent pension plan -- and has a few private bathrooms -- there really isn’t much to aspire for at 40.
Day-to-day life at 40
The lifestyle of a 40-year-old man can be described as “leisurely,” for starters. See -- when you’re in your 20s -- it’s typically frowned upon to sit at home all day doing nothing, yet, for the middle-aged man, that seems to be par for the course.
There aren’t any social pressures when you’re 40. You’ll never be forced to go out against your will, you know? There are no more birthday dinners you’ll have to feign enthusiasm through anymore.
If you want to sit at home all f*cking day -- in a pair of sweatpants, watching golf -- hey, that’s your prerogative, man.
When you get to 40, you just sort of earn that right.
Entertainment at 40
When you get to 40, you’ll find entertainment in new hobbies.
Sure, you might still make plans with some of the other cool dads in the neighborhood and catch a Bruce Springsteen or a Jimmy Buffett concert, but, for the most part, you’ll gain a newfound passion for your own backyard.
See, for the middle-aged man, the backyard will become their greatest sense of pride. From lawn maintenance to constructing the perfect BBQ, the backyard will become an arena for the 40-year-old man to show and prove his true worth.
At the end of the day, the backyard will be one of your last true responsibilities.
Style at 40
When you turn 40, who the f*ck cares how you look? Your hairline will probably already have receded, and your waistline -- probably the contrary.
That said, you’re past the point in your life where you’ll look to impress people, at least from a physical standpoint. You eat whatever the f*ck you want. You bypass any ambitions of working out or going to the gym.
Realistically, once you hit 40, the only ambitions you’ll have are to add secondary and tertiary members of the color wheel to your collection of collared Polo shirts, and wear as much fleece as possible.
In short, the best part about middle-aged style is that there is no style.