No matter the spirit in which they're received -- arms crossed or arms open -- birthdays predictably arrive, and for better or worse demand at the minimum a moment of self-reflection. Life is good. Life is bad. Life is meh. Life is here we go again. Life is remarkably and surprisingly suddenly different.
40 has secured its spot, accurate or not, as the point where you pivot from up and slip back down. And despite your distance between here and there, there is an unmistakable ringing (the volume may vary) letting you know age is coming, or has arrived, or is vibrating off memory and missed opportunity. But the nice thing about a sudden jostling is the pardon of hitting the snooze, ignoring the call to be somewhere you're not. I never was good at being on time. My 40 will be followed with winks.