I turned forty years old on Monday. I think I celebrated well, and although my peers and I collectively shake our heads that we are now entering our fourth decade, we are, in fact, entering our fourth decade.
Months ago, good friends asked how I wanted to celebrate, and my reply was, “Booze and chocolate in a cabin in the woods.” Friday afternoon, we headed out of the city, patronizing a couple of wineries along the way, and we did, indeed, land at a cabin in the woods. I had good friends, good wine, and a chocolate fountain. We stayed up to all hours of the night, ate too much sugar and drank too much. We shopped and we napped.
At forty, I don’t feel any older. I like to think that the man pouring our wine found us funny and flirty (he did card us), but chance are we reminded him of his mom, or his aunt. Sigh. I don’t have children who are young adults, but I’m old enough to.
At forty, I don’t know that I feel much smarter. Every day I learn something new, and if anything, I know there’s still so much to learn.
At forty, I still don’t know what the “right” thing to do is in many situations. Sure I’ve brought meals to friends who’ve had babies or suffered loss. I’ve try to help whenever it’s feasible. But things happen in this life that still bring me to my knees.
At forty, I’m used to people calling me ma’am, but I don’t see a ma’am when I look in the mirror. Sure my knees creak, and I need to do some stretching when I get out of bed each day, but I don’t feel that much different than I did at thirty.
At forty, I’ve recommitted to making my own happiness. If there’s one thing I have learned, is that things can change in an instant, and regrets suck. So I’m not afraid to say what I want or need, and if it’s important, I attempt to push an issue. I tell people my favorite kind of cake when they ask. When my family wants to know what I want to do for my birthday, I tell them.
Have you had a birthday that’s hit you hard or one that you are excited to reach?