I’m in denial.
This is the year I turn 40 and it’s ALL I can think about. All. I. Can. THINK. About. It’s no longer “someday” or “eventually,” it’s THIS YEAR.
Shit just got real.
When I was 20, I knew I’d be amazing at 40. You would have loved future me (but secretly hated future me). I was thin and beautiful and a CEO and rich and married to a boyishly-handsome man well over 6’ tall and a mother to two adorable blonde-haired blue-eyed cherubs and we all lived together in a marshmallow castle on the clouds.
When I look at my life today – on the brink of this terrifying age -- I feel many emotions about the new year. Happy is not one of them. I know what you’re thinking – it beats the alternative! Age is just a number! Forty is fabulous!
Whatever. I’m turning 40 and I can whine if I want to.
I don’t care about the physical aging part. I’ve always looked younger than I am. Most of my hair is still brown (pick a shade, any shade!). I don’t really have wrinkles. The few sad lonely eggs I have left in my ovaries that are rotting by the nanosecond certainly gives me pause, but I think what’s REALLY bugging me about facing a new decade is the disastrous state my life is in.
I’m talking yellow caution tape, hazmat suit, toxic landfill-level disaster area.
My home? A ridiculously overpriced rental – at this rate, I’ll never own. Career? Stuck in middle management – at this rate, I’ll never advance. Relationship? Single as single gets – at this rate, I’ll never marry. Kids? Negative – at this rate, I’ll never be a mom.
I can’t even be a proper spinster! I hate cats.
I’m halfway through life and nowhere near where I’m "supposed" to be. I must be defective. Just walk down the street – anybody with a left hand has a wedding ring on it. Flip on the TV – anyone with a bank account owns a home. I have a left hand! AND a bank account (full of cobwebs).
Why can’t I get my act together?
Is it bad luck? I don't think so. It's because I make bad decisions. Not "gas station sushi" type bad decisions, but right up there. What’s worse, there are actual moments I can pinpoint when my life went off the rails. If only my vision was as good as my hindsight, I’d be on easy street today (and have avoided a very regrettable perm).
I know I need to take the punch out of turning 40. I need to do more of what makes me happy, and hope the rest falls into place. I need to start making better decisions. I've only felt this way once before. Not shockingly, it was when I was turning 30. At the time, I thought I needed to make changes in my home, my career, and my relationships -- so I did!
Now, I’ve got 8 months to work on basically the same things. Again. Let’s see how far I can get by August… and if it's not meant to be, there’s nothing a bottle of birthday cake-flavored vodka and a week in bed can’t fix.
An old lady needs her rest.
So, how have YOU handled milestone birthdays? By kicking up your heels or by kicking and screaming?