Another Day Older

So I haven’t posted anything for five days now. For me, that’s a serious drought. I typically find something to say every day; worst case, I skip a day. It’s particularly humorous since I have 15 drafts waiting in various states, including one that I started at lunch 5 days ago and thought I’d wrap up that night.

This happens from time to time. I get busy or I get withdrawn and don’t feel like writing. I’ve never figured out if I can’t find something to write about because nothing is happening or if it looks to me like nothing is happening because I don’t feel like writing. Sometimes, as I think has happened this time, I’m pondering BIG ISSUES but I’m simply too tired to express my thoughts cohesively. That takes so much more work than relating a funny conversation with my kids.

My big issue right now is this. I recently turned 40 and I haven’t been able to figure out how I feel about it. In the days leading up to it, I felt like it ought to be a big deal and got depressed because I knew it wouldn’t be – it’d just be another day. And then I’d immediately think that it really isn’t a big deal and I didn’t want anyone to make it one.

In trying to explain some of my conflicting emotions to my husband, I told him, “They were talking about a survey on the radio and they said, ‘People in their twenties and thirties were more likely to…’ and I realized that in a few days, they won’t be talking about me.”

He responded simply that they already weren’t talking about me. He’s right. Stages of life are much more indicative than age.

My daughter went to a friend’s birthday party the night before my birthday. The mom had 8 game cards for the video games at the venue but only 6 kids present. The birthday girl argued she should get the extras since it was her birthday.

“But what if Jane’s mom and I want to use them?” her mother asked.

“It’s my birthday!” she countered.

“It’s my birthday too,” I said.

“Yours isn’t until tomorrow,” Jane said.

“So?” I asked, turning to look intently into the friend’s eyes, “This is the last day I will ever be in my thirties. I need something to help me feel young and carefree!”

The girl stared at me briefly before saying, “Ok. You win. Give her the card, mom.”

I laughed and waved it off. I didn’t actually feel like getting up from the couch. Besides, another mom, who turned 50 last year, sat down and we began to gossip, for lack of a more genteel term to describe our whispered discussions.

And that leads me to what I think was my overriding thought as I tried to figure out how I feel. I don’t feel any different. I’m not any different. I’m the same person I’ve always been. Older, maybe wiser, maybe a tad more confident, maybe more responsible, but still me. And this woman in her fifties is still the same. And the people we were talking about. There isn’t some generic personality that goes with a given age.

I think I had a problem with turning forty simply because it was an obvious milestone on my road to old age. I’ve had some fun joking about it though. Anything I could blame on age, I did.

The morning of my birthday, my husband and I lay in bed, each playing a game on our phone. I dropped mine. On my face. Twice. My husband took his eyes off his game to look at me.

“Give me a break! I’m old!”

I still don’t think I’ve processed it all. I will say that 40 plus a day was better than 40. And 40 plus two days was even better. And so on. So I think maybe I can adjust to this decade of life. I have some more thoughts that I’ll share soon. My thoughts have been so disjointed that I found it impossible to form into one cohesive post. Stay tuned… I’ll try not to keep you waiting another five days.

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