The memory of the celebration of the day of my birth seems hazy, which if you celebrate your birthday correctly, it always should do. I don't want to remember exactly what I was doing but I'm sure it would have involved lots of cake, copious amounts of champagne and 48 hours in the recovery position.
As we age the recovery time is about double the party time. Whereas before I could stay out all night and then be sitting at my desk the next morning ready for the day ahead, if I stay out all night now it takes at least a full day of cold compresses, about eight litres of water, a box of Nurofen and a pot of Creme de la Mer before I can even think about leaving the comfort of my bed.
Age will not wither me but the leaving party for my youth might just do it.
I'm on the fast train to middle age and this is how I feel about it.
I haven't really tempered my behaviour as I've gotten older and I don't see why I should? In lots of ways I probably still haven't grown up. I'm still attracted to the creative crazy types, the ones who don't really care about the consequences. What are the consequences of having fun? As long as you're flame retardant, STD retardant and arrest retardant there aren't any. At my age there isn't anybody who can wriggle their finger and tell me I can't do something without my grabbing hold of their finger, bending it backwards and wriggling it back at them.
I never question how long I have left, and that's the reason why "middle age" makes no sense. It's just something that is used to label people, a bit like a "Use By" date on your groceries, and most of us are still ripening.
I can work out and buff and sculpt my body and rub lotions, creams and potions into my skin. I can swallow as many pills or tinctures as it takes to keep me young and I can choose what good or bad things I want to imbibe, infuse or refuse, but what good will it do?
We will never know our middle age and why do we want to know our middle age?
We may just as well say it's our "halfway to dead" age.
When I take my final tumble only the people I leave behind who will be able to say "Ooo, that Dan Warner was halfway to dead at the age of 73" or "that wrinkly old fool was middle aged at 109, we thought we'd never get rid of him".
I'm hoping that when I get to meet whomever is keeping my seat warm on the other side they say to me "Listen, you were supposed to be here 43 years ago, now get your tardy ass down that blood red staircase and start shovelling coal because any time now this whole damn place is going to freeze over".
As you can see, I'm planning on living a long time - you can do the math.
Life as the old cliche says is "all about swings and roundabouts' - which is fine. I can stay on the swings all day long watching my moods swing like a pendulum and then I can jump off and have a go on life's roundabouts.
Isn't life also supposed to be "just a bowl of cherries"?
Did I mention that I'm on the roundabout, going around at about a hundred miles an hour and I'm spitting cherry pips, and when I'm on the swings I'm swinging so high that I can spit those little pips for miles? I'm living life so fast that I might just take your eye out with an errant pip and a flying stalk.
I'm going to embrace the onslaught of my 40's like an alcoholic at a free bar. If I'm going grey then I'm glad to be grey. It's like my hair has finally thrown open it's closet doors and it's coming out. (Actually, thank god it's not "coming out" at all, it's still as thick as a baby Koala's) and I may be "middle aged" but I'll still be as relevant as a firearm at an armed robbery (and twice as dangerous when loaded).
If old mother time is taking me down then I'm going down fighting and I'm not talking just about looks - it's more about attitude and outlook.
It doesn't matter what we do to our physical appearance, it's either good genes or good doctors that keep us looking young but there will be a time for all of us when our tits hit the floor and we just haven't got "it" anymore. Age is the great leveller because we are all going to get old (if we're lucky). The rich, the poor, the good, the bad and the ugly. Kings and courtiers are all going to grow old.
The only ones that won't are Queens and movie stars (and movie stars whom are Queens).
The physical decline with age can be the most obvious and although my eyes may get wrinkled what I see through them will still be youthful and exciting to me and that won't be because I've smeared the lens with Vaseline. I don't need to see my life in soft focus. I will still get excited about every single thing on every single day and when I'm too old to know I'm excited? I'll take a pill for it and remember why I was excited in the first place. I feel exactly the same way about life today as I did twenty years ago and all the fun I've had probably does show on my face. It's said in your twenties you get the face you were born with and in your forties you end up with the face you deserve (or can afford)?
Well, I'm looking forward to seeing the face I'll have in another 20 years because I'm hoping it will be the face someone else can afford.
I'm planning on growing up and old disgracefully.
There isn't anything I could do better at 21 than I can do at 41, it just might take me a little longer.
All the bravado and character I had then has doubled (as has my chin) and as for having the time of my life?
I'm still having it - and I'm probably having yours too.