So, I’ve just turned 40.
The time in your life that, according to popular legend, “life begins at”.
I mean that. Come on, think about it. If we really believed that, upon reaching our 40th birthdays that our lives could now truly begin, just what have we been doing up until then? Not a great deal it would seem, if we’re all too ready to write off our first four decades on planet earth so easily.
From a personal point of view, it’s all about another stage in my life starting and looking ahead to everything that I still want to do.
I’m a business professional now. Who used to be a professional footballer.
When I was playing I wanted to do so at the highest level, which I achieved by playing in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City.
I also wanted to earn as much money as I could in the quickest time possible but then who doesn’t when they’re in their early 20’s? I was never going to be a footballing millionaire by the time I was 25. But I was paid well.
Two boxes indelibly ticked. And no regrets. Not then and not now.
So I’m not going to say my life is “beginning” at 40. Instead I’ll opt for saying its moving onto new and different challenges.
Beginning with my re-evaluating what the most important things in my life are right now.
I’ll hold my hand up at this point and admit that I was very much into my ‘boys toys’ at one time. The nice apartment, the car, the gadgets. There’s a picture of Darren Huckerby washing a car that had, somehow, made its way into the middle of one of our training pitches at Colney.
It’s a brand new Aston Martin DB7. My pride and joy at the time.
My priorities are rather different now.
The things that are really important to me are my loved ones. I headed back to Belfast for Christmas and there was no place I would rather have been than with my family and friends back home.
Mind you, in amongst all of my reflecting on my life so far, festooned as it has been with all the usual festive celebrations, there is one thing that I most definitely haven’t done…make a New Year’s Resolution.
Simple. Why is it that people only ever seem to think they can make public (or private) declarations about their lives and how they want to set about improving them on just one day of the year.
Shouldn’t we be looking to do so continuously; shouldn’t the whole self-improvement aspect of your life be an organic process that accompanies us on every day of our lives?
I certainly think it does. Why wait until the end of the year to decide that you want to try x, achieve y and visit z?
Why wait until tomorrow or next week to do something that you can do today.
Aren’t you worth more than that?
Because not doing so might lead to some very real regret in time. The sort of regrets that accompany us for the rest of our lives.
Very real regrets that have been documented by a remarkable woman in Australia.
I’ll tell you more about her in my next blog. But I’ll say this now. Once you’ve read her story, you’ll never make a New Year’s Resolution again because when you’ve read it, you’ll never want to put something off until tomorrow ever again.