Friday, November 9, 2007

Ready or not, here it comes

I will be 40 on Tuesday.

For. Tee.

In case I was going to forget, as old people tend to do, my siblings have been marking the countdown every day since it was 40 days out by sending me postcards counting down the days (“39 and she’s looking fine!”, “23 and she can still hold her pee!”) I am the oldest, so they are taking great glee in marking the milestone. And for that I am very grateful and very touched. And payback is hell.

I have never been hung up about my age. I always felt younger than the number, whatever it was, and tried to ignore all off the media hype about aging gracefully. I am one step ahead of all that anyway since I have never, ever been graceful, and that does not appear to be improving.

But 40 carries so much baggage. My infertility issues will statistically be twice as bad next week as they are right now, my skin will be 30% drier and 25% less resilient, peri-menopause will be lurking around the corner, and I will see a 29% drop in my peer group appearing in television roles. I remember reading that doctors classify the three biggest risk factors for gall bladder cases as FFF – Fair, Fat and Forty. While I meet all of that criteria, so far my gallbladder is holding its own. Yea for my internal organs jumping the curve!

What I really want to know, is how I can be turning 40 when I still have the sense of humor of a 17 year old boy? How can I be 40 when my kids think that I can fit in their toy box with them to go on a “boat ride Mommy!” How can I be 40 when I have still never purchased new living room furniture? Can I really be 40 when I am afraid of getting kicked out of yoga for laughing when someone farts? When I am still afraid of clowns and German Shepards? When I still don’t know how to whistle or play chess? When I remember getting the training wheels off of my bike as vividly as I remember dancing on a bar in college or buying my first car, like it just happened yesterday?

This weekend, I will be going to two parties, not my own. And that is fine with me. Years ago I told my husband that when I turned 40 I wanted a big party and a trip to Italy. Alot has changed since I made that declaration. Jobs lost and found, houses bought and sold, and children longed for and prayed for, and finally prayers answered. Instead of a big party and a trip to Italy, I think it will be more like a party of four at my favorite small, casual family-friendly Italian restaurant. And I wouldn’t change a thing.


Not a Granny said...

As somebody who just turned 47 and still feels like she is 22, it's only a number.

Binky said...

This is a fantastic post. If it's any indication, then 40 really agrees with you.

K said...

Happy early birthday. I'm 40 next September. But i took one of those "what is your REAL age" quizzes online and guess what? I'm really only 33 1/2 inside. Who knew?