Today, I turned 40.
As in, years old. (I hate when people say “40 years young.” You know who says that? Old people.)
Yup, 40. I’ll give you a minute to be shocked, turn to your husband/wife/boyfriend/roommate/dog and say, “Can you believe she’s 40? She doesn’t look a day over 28!” Seriously, say that. Now. I’ll wait.
I haven’t been dreading this birthday at all. I’ve never really cared about getting older; never really cared about the number.
And it’s not that I don’t feel old – because I sort of do. Here’s why:
- I can’t stay up at late. If a concert starts after 9:00pm, I pass. And I DVR all the one-hour dramas that start at 10:00pm.
- I can’t handle my alcohol. As my family has been quick to point out in recent days, I drink much more on this blog than I do in real life. But that’s because my blog self isn’t 40 and can better handle the hangovers. (FYI, Blog Self is also a size 2.)
- I find myself doing those calculations like, “When my youngest kid graduates high school, I’ll be… “
- If I pull an all-nighter, it’s because someone under the age of six in my house has the stomach flu.
- I have wrinkles and lots of gray hair. I still don’t wear a ton of make-up or dye my hair, but now, I really should.
- I find myself saying things like, “Kids these days!” and “When I was your age…” instead of making fun of people who say those things.
- Many of the medical professionals in my life are younger than me. Shocking? No. Disconcerting, absolutely.
- When my youngest kid graduates high school, I’ll be 57. Probably not the oldest parent there, but pretty damn close.
- I remember my Dad’s 40th birthday party. And yet, my youngest kid can barely walk without falling over.
- For the past month, I’ve been complaining about a pain in my hip. No joke. HIP PAIN. It just doesn’t get any older than that.
But even given all that. I still wasn’t dreading this birthday at all. But now that it’s happened, I do have to say, turning this particular number – again, 40 (for those of you that aren’t paying very close attention) – is VERY strange.
40 sounds old. 39 sounds like “Oh, you’re still young.” And 40 sounds like, “Oh you’re still… bringing your kid to preschool?”
Being in your 40s pretty much defines “mid-life” and part of me wonders if I wasted so much of that first half. (I can only wonder because I can’t remember so many of them.)
You know that saying, “Your best days are ahead.” Well, no offense to my kids, but I’m fairly certain that’s simply not true. I mean, I ROCKED it in my 20s.
I’ve got a whole half a life ahead of me (hopefully… oh geez, now I have to go knock on all the wood in my house). I look forward to watching my kids grow up and laugh and learn and sleep through the night. I look forward to learning new things (like basic math skills) and visiting new places (like Maine). And I can’t wait to…
Oh shit, it’s almost midnight. I’ve got to post this before it’s not my birthday anymore.
Thanks for all the well wishes… I’m a very blessed 40 year-young.
(What’d you expect? I’m old now.)