Advice Male Perspective

Getting Through Those Milestone Birthdays

There are no doubt about it, certain birthdays in your life are simply more monumental than others, and while you’re always partly happy it’s your birthday, getting through the day can be a bit difficult.  There are many reasons and factors at play, but really they’re commonly connected to which particular birthday it is.

Usually the first and second birthdays are considered important steps towards adulthood, since that is when  you turn the legal age to drive and when you are considered legally an adult.  In many places, the age at which they allow people to drive usually comes before they reach what is considered the legal age majority and it varies depending on your particular legal jurisdiction.

For each of these birthdays there is a tendency to party hard and to have things get out of hand; so it’s probably a good idea if you have a friend around for those birthdays that you really trust who will keep you safe and sound.  After all, the last thing you want is to do something you’ll regret later on.

While some might point to their 20th or 25th birthdays as being important ones, for most people it is the 30th birthday that really hits home.  The common cry for many when turning 30 is usually ‘oh my god I’m no longer in my 20s’ and a sense of anxiety can set in.  Part of these feelings of panic come from no longer thinking of yourself as young and carefree, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Just because you turn 30 doesn’t mean all the sudden you should become sullen and serious, but it should give you pause to start thinking about where you want your life to head in the next decade.  Do you want to get married?  Do you want to have a family?  Is this the career you want?  Do you want to continue or go back to school?  Do you want to travel?  These are all fair questions to ask and there’s nothing wrong with doing so, but try to keep a clear head and look at things calmly.

The next birthday that has an impact is your 40th birthday.  Usually by the time of your 39th birthday you start to realize you’ll be turning 40 soon and you start to think of all the expectations you had and where you figured your life would be once you started to approach this particular point in your life.  You start thinking about regrets you had and dreams that have gone unfulfilled.  There is a propensity to start thinking of yourself as old and it being too late to make changes in your life to improve it for the better.  The 40th birthday can be a very sullen experience for many and one that is surrounded by an unspoken dread.  It shouldn’t.  Nobody’s life goes exactly how they planned and often the expectations you place on yourself are ones that were completely unrealistic.  It’s vital to really look at yourself critically and not just focus on all of the things that you didn’t accomplish, but also the ones you did.  It seems to be human nature to focus on the glass being half empty much of the time, but on your 40th birthday you should do the opposite; and as for all those things you didn’t get to?  It’s never too late.

After the 40th birthday the 50th and 60th birthdays are the next flashpoint ones.  On your 50th birthday you may feel yourself starting to get nostalgic as you look back on your half a century of life on this planet, while also looking forward to your retirement years.  Depending on how much work you’ve done in advance, the thought of retirement may bring with it some concern if you don’t feel you’ve yet put aside enough money for those later years.  The 50th birthday will often be marked by a lot of thought towards planning for down the road.  As for the 60th birthday, if you’ve planned well, this will be a happy one but if you haven’t, it will probably be marked by some hard choices of trying to figure out how you’re going to make ends meet.

No matter which scenario, by these later years most are downsizing their living space as the homes they’ve lived in most of their lives have become too burdensome to look after anymore, and there is usually a sentiment of wanting to simplify life.  It is also during these birthdays where loneliness can set in as many beloved friends and loved ones start to pass away.  So it’s important to join various groups and seek out activities in your local community, because the more connections you have, the more you’ll feel connected to the world at large.  It will also help give you purpose and fill up the days during your retirement years.

All of the above birthdays mark  transitions into the next phases of life, ones that shouldn’t be feared.  Instead you should look forward to the adventure before you, let your imagination wander,  find out where you will be going next!  Oh and lastly, remember to have fun on your birthday!!

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