When I was a kid, forty was the age that the adults joked about. Forty was when you began the long decline to death. Forty was black arm bands, “Over the Hill” banners, and jokes about mid-life crises.

As of now, I am forty. And I am going to make my forties be the most righteous decade yet.

All I would like for my birthday today is for you to make a difference, not just in your own life, but in someone else’s. If you ride a bike, I’d like you to join your local bicycle coalition. If you’ve been putting off writing an angry (yet polite and well-written) letter to your elected representatives, write it and send it today. It would make me ridiculously happy to know that you donated to a charity you like. And, if you don’t have one yet, here are some I really like:

World Bicycle Relief

The Westside Children’s Center

Girls Inc of Orange County

I am forty. To hell with black arm bands, cheap gallows humor, and all of that crap. This is the decade to change the goddamn world.