Top 40?

I turned 40 today.

When I was a kid, 40 seemed so old. I don’t think that 40 is old anymore (far from it), but I’m surprised to find that turning 40 has led me to think about how I want to grow old.

That’s not easy to think about – but it is easy to think about how I don’t want to grow old.

A few weeks ago I attended a ritzy charity event, and I swear half the people there – both men and women – had ridiculous stretched faces. They might as well had worn badges that said, “I paid a plastic surgeon a ton of money to look this silly.” I sure as hell don’t want to get old like that.

I also run into people who use age as an excuse not to try something new, and I don’t want to get old like that, either. I’m inspired by folks older than me who continue to move forward and challenge themselves. Dave Winer, for example, keeps coming up with great ideas despite being in an industry over-populated with young whipper-snappers.

And right now I’m getting a kick out of the fact that Rush – whose members are all in their mid-fifties – just put out one of the best albums of their careers (side note: if you’re a Rush fan and don’t agree that it’s a great album, then you need to listen to it a few more times). I love that the very last line on the album is “We could be down and gone, but we hold on.” Not exactly subtle, but still a great closing line.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this decade – I plan for it to be my favorite one so far :)

34 thoughts on “Top 40?

  1. Congratulations on the birthday!
    Vapor Trails was an awesome album, as well; too bad it sounded horrible because someone tried to turn it up to 11. It was such a relief to hear the new album not ruined by the same thing.
    “We Hold On” is a great ending to the album and of their career so far, although I hope it’s not the final song. :)

  2. I remember my 40’s — rather vaguely at times but remember them nonetheless :)
    Congrats on the birthday and as for the old farts still in the ‘puter business there’s more than a few of us around to give those whippersnappers a run for their money :)

  3. Happy Birthday! My odometer clicked over the big 4-oh in March.
    I hope no one got you the black balloons and the sign in the front yard saying “Lordy Lordy Nick is Forty”. I told my wife I’d leave her if she did that to me :)

  4. Happy Birthday, Nick! I believe that you’re only as old as you feel. Glad to hear that the new Rush album is good. I’ve been waiting to hear some reviews of it before I picked it up.

  5. Happy B-day, Nickster!!
    I had one of my daughters in the vehicle with me the other day when “Sweet Emotion” came on the radio. They thought it was a cool song just as I did… then I realized Aerosmith has been around FOR-EVE-R also. Some things just get better with age. LOL

  6. And here I am fretting 30 (I turn 29 in July) and having a minature midlife crisis (what am I going to do with my life/what have I done with my life/what is my impact on the world going to be… maybe I will not do anything fears, etc).
    Glad to see that I am just going on about nothing :) I am never too young to start my own business and take risks, woot!

  7. Congrats dude. You’re one of the most fresh minds I know in this industry. Keep on going with the good work. Btw. I’ll have my 30th this year…

  8. One of the advantages of being a computer programmer is that you can be 0x28 today. Let me know how it goes. I’m hitting 0x28 in June, there’s still time for me to discover a time machine :)

  9. Looks like I’m right smack between you and Jack then, as I hit the big four-oh next August :).
    And I am really ashamed to admit I didn’t even KNOW Rush had a new album out…this from a guy who filed meaningless paperwork at the end of his military training for no other reason than making sure he wasn’t transferred to his new command until AFTER their Roll the Bones tour made their Orlando stop :). I just heard the sound bites from Amazon…wow, I want it just for the Armor and Sword track…

  10. Happy birthday, Nick! :)
    40? Anyone who thinks that’s old is a mere stripling! Wait until you get to my advanced age – 60 next birthday – you’ll look back on your 40th as part of your youth.

  11. well gee, now I feel really young. You, Jack and even Critter are all at or near 40? I turn 26 in October :P
    Happy Birthday Nick, don’t worry you’re not over the hill until 50 ;)

  12. Funny! I turned 25 yesterday! 11 May is the best day of the year only less summer like then on earlier years, though.

  13. Happy Birthday Nick! I turned 42 on May 10th and guess what I got? Snakes and Arrows by Rush. Great album. I still feel like I am in my twenties. By that I mean I think … I don’t know anything yet and wisdom will come with age. Any time now! :-)

  14. Hey Nick – Happy Birthday amigo! Having just had recently had dinner with you, I wouldn’t have guessed it as you look great! Don’t sweat it, 40 (as you realized) isn’t a big deal, as long as you need your mind and body as young as possible (by taking care of both), you can continue to blow minds for another 40 years.
    Take care — Jeff Powell

  15. Happy Birthday Nick! I turn 40 in about 3 weeks. 2112 was the first record I ever bought.

  16. Man, I forgot to say it as well…
    Happy Birthday, Nick!
    (and I was able to squeeze in a trip to Spin Street this morning…holy smokes…this is *classic* Rush, as in Fly by Night/2112 Rush! It’s gonna be a long 2 weeks to wait for the MVI DVD version…)

  17. Happy Birthday Nick
    I am moving into my 42’s this year and even though I look around the office at all the young developers, I still feel experience is everything. I bet most of the people in my office don’t even know what punch cards are :-)

  18. A slightly late happy birthday. :)
    So far I’ve not really managed to listen to Snakes & Arrows all the way through – most of the songs just kind of blend into a mush. About the only one that stands out for me is Bravest Face. I’ll try a few more times though…

  19. Late to the party, but wanted to add my birthday wishes as well… Happy birthday, Nick! And yes, may the next decade be your best ever. :-)
    Cool about the new Rush album too… I’ll have to check it out. I saw them in concert ~10 years ago, and (as everyone always says), Neil’s drum solos (even in his 40s!) were pretty mind-blowing.

  20. Congratulations. My youngest daughter was born when I was 39, I’m 51 now, and your 40’s are great because you (typically) don’t have any massive, bad, life changes.
    Still married to my honey, I wear reading glasses (three for $18 at Costco), I’m about as fit, no additional hair loss, a few more wrinkles, and a few more pounds, so I’m pretty much the same.
    In fact, if I stay on course, I will be my target weight by July 1, which was my weight when I was 37 years old. Your 50’s are awesome – I just got my AARP card and posted it on my office door!
    Enjoy the ride!

  21. Welcome to a great club, Nick! Seriously, I am loving my 40’s – old enough to stop giving a damn about the small things and young enough to still enjoy plenty of great activities.

  22. ‘BOUT TIME!
    Great post, excellent philosophy! Something to chew on (with my original teeth… thank you very much!) as I turn thirty-eleven in a few days!
    happy B-day!

  23. So, Nick, your 40 and I’m 50; you’re working with FeedDemon and I’m still building websites with HomeSite. So when are we both going to go back to the Editorial Cartooning careers, be spotted by Rush and asked to do their next album cover ala Janis Joplin/Big Brother and the Holding Company?
    Yeah, I know I’m a bit late to wish you a happy Bday, but I had to thank you for creating HomeSite and TopStyle.

  24. musicians tend to peak *creatively* within their 20’s. but it seems they do better when they mix ages a little (mick taylor – younger, charlie watts – older). iseleys in the mid 70’s. bee gees, even :-)
    i think ginger baker was a bit older than jack bruce and clapton.
    winwood was early 20’s when the rest of traffic was older?
    i can’t think of any age mixing since (but knowing the age and influence of producers isn’t as obvious). but the peaking at 20’s (to very early 30’s) thing holds true. miracles, maytals, ramones, depeche mode, tribe called quest, armand van helden, nirvana, sasha, chemicals, crystal method.
    skills can last a long time. very near to the day one of the singers was found dead, i overheard righteous brothers on tv. they were about 60, and unless their live mixing was extraordinarily “magical” (or maybe they had bionic vocal cords), they still sung with very good voices.
    i like reading news articles about the outliers in marathons. there’s usually a few sentences about a few runners in their 60’s. some lifters are kind of old. (but i don’t know if they’re doing some steroids)
    so, yeah. :-)

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