A week ago today, I suffered a birthday (this is a literal translation of a Korean phrase—they use the same verb that you would use if you were in a car accident). This one was special, I suppose, because it marks the passing of another decade. There was little fanfare at the time, mainly because I was busy working on a paper that was due on Saturday. The actual celebration of the birthday didn’t happen until Sunday, when Hyunjin’s family (her father, her sister, and her sister’s husband) came up and we walked around Kyunghee University, where the cherry blossoms were at their peak, and then had dinner at a nice restaurant.
I have been meaning to write something about this, not necessarily because I want to, but because I feel I should. Everyone makes such a big deal out of turning forty that I feel I must say something profound. To tell you the truth, though, I don’t really feel that much different. I’ve had a few silver hairs around the temples for several years already now, and it’s been long since my body started reminding me that I can’t pull the sort of crap I pulled when I was twenty and expect to not pay for it the next day. So nothing has really changed in that department. If anything, I’ve started regular exercise again recently (within the past few months), so I’m probably in better shape now then I was half a year ago. And this summer we plan to finally get back out on the Han River for some more wakeboarding. In short, I don’t really feel that old.
There is one thought that occupies my mind, though, and I should probably exorcise it. When I was a newly-minted fourteen-year-old punk, my father turned forty. I can remember that day clearly, at least the part where I teased him about becoming an old man. I also remember the look on his face: it was mostly bemused, but I can remember a hint of bewilderment as well. Now that I am here myself, I can understand that bewilderment: forty isn’t nearly as old as I thought it was. I suppose it’s a bit late at this point, but perhaps it will come as some consolation to my father that at least I understand part of what he felt at the time.
I guess that’s about it. No profound realizations, no deep wisdom. Next time around I should have something more interesting for you to read: my tale of how this website was hit by a malware attack, and what it took to get things running again. Actually, I don’t know how interesting that will be, but I’ve written about half of that already, and I just want to get that out there by way of explanation for those of you who were wondering what happened.