At various points in your life, you give up on being cool. And here I don’t mean “cool” in some superficial sense: fashion-forward, pop-culture-connected, money-burning, pouty-lipped or chisel-jawed. I mean adventure-ready, energised, open to new people and places and ideas. You can be cool from 18-80. But this kind of cool ebbs and flows.

In your 20s, you’re figuring out who you are. In your 30s, you’re starting to feel comfortable with that identity. In your 40s, you settle right into it — like flopping onto a favourite couch with the firm intention of staying there indefinitely. Your kids grow up and the sheer fact of their adolescence makes you feel out of touch with whatever “cool” is, in whatever sense that word is used. You become more risk-averse, more prone to sticking with what you know, ambitious for boring things like financial security and good health...

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