Forty

I’m going to need another 30 or 40 years to figure this shit out.


The two weeks leading up to a 40th birthday are pretty depressing, but it turns out the actual even hasn’t been any worse than having to pay more expensive health insurance.

Just as I did for my 30th, I spent most of the time leading up to the horrible day going over my to-do list of all the things I’d supposed to have accomplished by the time I got Old, a list I’d started when I was 20. I’m starting to realize that the trick isn’t accomplishing all these things; it’s not worrying so much about the ones that are left undone.

  • Become an animator: F
  • Grow a beard: C (didn’t really commit until it’d already started to turn white)
  • Write a novel: F
  • Get married: F (still illegal thanks to intrusive jackasses)
  • Own a house: F (highly unlikely in the bay area)
  • Learn Japanese: C- (still at a preschooler’s level reading, can’t understand spoken at all)
  • Go to Japan: A (I got to go twice!)
  • Go to Ireland: A (Dublin’s a fantastic city)
  • Work for LucasArts: A
  • Make a Sam & Max game: B+ (still too recent not to focus on what I would’ve done differently)
  • Release my own game: D (it’s in the works, though!)
  • Learn to play banjo: D- (I can play a tortured, basic version of Cripple Creek)

So I’d get an incomplete, which is probably for the best considering either alternative. I could even see myself embracing the whole “Life Begins at 40!” thing. If by “life” you mean “taking lots of fiber supplements.”

3 thoughts on “Forty”

  1. Happy Birthday! 😀

    You’re doing fine (increase the Sam and Max score). Good luck on that checklist! For what it’s worth, my own list is a string of straight Fs. So you’re ahead of me.

  2. I could never make a checklist of things to do by a certain age, or before I die. I hate planning for stuff, it ruins the surprise if I know what happens before it does 😛 Plus I don’t want to railroad myself.
    When I turn 40, I hope I’ll be able to say that many of the good things that have happened in my life have been completely unexpected, and I hope that was true for you too.
    I feel unexpected successes, surprises and happy things are better because while you enjoy them, you also get to enjoy how incredibly lucky you are to experience something you didn’t even realise existed, or you didn’t realise you could experience personally.
    When I turn 30 (since that’s closer) I think I’ll make a list not of things that I “should” have accomplished, but of things I did accomplish, with special mention for those I would never have guessed.

    I hope you had a good birthday, at any rate.

  3. Is that list still valid? Can you really say after you know how the sausage is made that you still want to be an animator? And if so, then just sit down and make a (very) short animated film, give yourself an A and move on. Because from my perspective, the creative work you’ve done related to animation is much more satisfying. Animation can be fun, but can also get incredibly tedious.

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