As I hit 40, I also hit a career ceiling. I enjoy what I do and it has gotten me far but no-one really cares about good code as long as it does the job.
I cannot grow in my current role unless I take on more leadership; something I am not interested in doing. So my peers, who would rather have meetings than write code, are now directors and VPs leaving me in the dust in terms of both compensation and influence.
I feel good on most days. My calendar is mostly clear of meetings and I can focus hours on end on what I enjoy and do best. However, once in a while, I get a ping from someone I knew a long time back and when I see their title, I feel a twinge.
We are nothing but machines that churn out code in an industry ultimately governed by those who are good with _people_ rather than with computers. That realization is the saddest thing about being a programmer for me