Thursday, April 15, 2010
Today I'm 40 for the third day and this is my favorite moment of the day. A small bucket, a large, gangly and grimy toddler in it with some soap and suds - clean up from "yard work" before nap time.
My actual birthday was quite underwhelmingly dull. Woke up with a cold, worked, had a quiet evening with Gus while Jacob was at school. A few phone calls, a couple of cards, I lacked the energy to even fake enthusiasm.
I'm not sad or grumpy, and I can't claim to be surprised...it's been a long time coming. Still the finality of the arrival of a new decade - one that traditionally marks middle-age - has me grasping for words and thoughts.
Sure, 40 is the new 30, and I'm one fit 40-year-old, and bla bla bla...still it's a milestone to be reckoned with and even a short pause in the greeting card aisle a few weeks ago (to buy other - younger - people birthday cards - left me depressed because 40 is where the greeting card industry begins to leave off the exclamation marks (Finally! You're 25!!!) and replaces it with lame-cheery jokes about bowel movements and exaggerations about volume of birthday candles.
Here are my thoughts on being 40.
- Even my most recent, slow trail half-marathon (1:57:36) still beats my first half-marathon run at the tender age of 32 by about 12 minutes (of course, I could still smoke 10 cigarettes in a single sitting back then, too).
- Yes, my highlights are natural, shiny, shimmery even...and I don't intend to ever have someone charge me an arm and a leg to put a hundred little foil pieces in my hair and make me look like a deranged astronaut before rinsing it all out and declaring it - over distincly toxic smelling fumes - "very natural".
- I got longer, deeper lines on my face and freckles that are banding together to form blotches, but I have all my teeth and I no longer worry about what eyeshadow could possibly turn me into a supermodel.
- I am way smarter than I was at 30. Way, way, way.
- I'm married to a better man than I was at 30. The best man for me.
- I have a style. It's my own. And I stand by it.
- I'm wittier than I was at 20 or 30 and I intend to be wittier even when I'm 50. By 60 I hope to sprinkle some wisdom in there with all the wittiness.
- I'm a mother now. A Christian and a wife to a good man. I didn't squander my 30s.
- I take all the compliments I can get. I don't fish for them. I like to think I work for them and I accept them as a job well done.
- I will make my 40s my change-is-good-for-me years, as a creature of habit, it takes effort for me to accept changes (as in aging) so I might as well celebrate how intentional changes can bring about new contentment.
- I'm certain my 40s will hold many new discoveries and lessons for me. I vow to be open to all of them - on most days.
Yeah, Happy Birthday to me.