Yep, it’s my birthday this week – or as most women in their 30s call this glorious day…”Holy heck…one year closer to 40.”
Not that I’m afraid of 40. I mean 40 is like the new 21….or so say all those celebrities, fashion designers, and Real Hoochey-mama Housewives. Right? Except the fact you have wrinkles, a mortgage payment, a ticking clock (even the GYNO agrees), a year’s supply glucosamine in your medicine cabinet, and every time you look at a photo of yourself you think…”I look like my mother!” Chances are — if you haven’t splurged on Botox, you’ve at least spent HOURS looking at “before and after” photos online until your eyes glaze over. And suddenly exercise is not something you do JUST for the endorphins… it’s something you do to “keep up with all those trashy 20 year-olds who are stealing your men!”
I admit I’m not in my mid-flirty30s anymore….I’m in my late-flirty30s…I turn 38…GULP… tomorrow. But I guess the important thing is – I don’t feel late 30s. (And I don’t think I look it.) I feel….maybe ….Hmmm….27.
Still – despite my youthful feeling…You know you’re a few years away from 40 when:
- You’re overdosing on sunscreen, even during a tsunami.
- You’re obsessed with eating healthy and only buy foods that are dark green or bright purple (Although this does not apply to late-night Taco Bell or gas station doughnuts).
- You’ve accepted the fact you can’t wear high heels every day and have been caught sneaking into the Crocs store at Cherry Creek mall.
- You’ve already investigated fertility acupuncture even though you have: A. No husband B. No boyfriend C. No upcoming dates
- You’ve fibbed about your age at least once…or at least…you’ve been “very vague” and kept some guy guessing who was probably younger than your younger brother!
But there is comfort in all of this. My grandmother told me years ago…”You know Lisa, your mind doesn’t age…only your body does.” I wasn’t sure what she met by this until five years ago. What she means is that our emotions don’t disappear along with the progression of the calendar. We still experience the “ah-hah” moment of newfound love, the angst of a job change, the sadness when we are betrayed, and the “jumping up and down” joy when we reach a goal. (Ask my co-workers – I jumped up and down between cubicles when I found out the seller accepted my offer on my new condo.)
It’s AS IF we are still 17 or 27…somewhere in our psyche. And I find this extremely comforting as I age gracefully.
Since my birthday always falls around Thanksgiving…I’d like to reflect on my blessings – or in reality — what I survived this last year… because honestly…it was a doozey.
- Finding “one of the loves” of my life…throwing my heart into it…then realizing it was time to let go…(wretched heartache)
- Politely demanding a raise, not receiving the raise initially, playing tough (so very awkward for Lisa), then coming to an agreement in my favor (Who knew Lisa had balls?!)
- Managing three family weddings – and thankfully no funerals (My own personal episode of “Relatives Gone Wild”)
- Surviving a Denver winter with only a mini-cooper to my name (those miniature snow tires rock!)
- Tackling the beautiful Colorado ski slopes for 13 sporadic ski days – without injuring myself, innocent children, old people, or punk snowboarders
- Traveling to Europe – and encountering delayed flights, bus schedules I never undersood, a bitchy, jealous ex-boyfriend’s mother (so so painful), yet thankfully — stunning scenery, amazing food, and loving company
- Camping with four other girls outside Aspen for a long weekend and somehow not killing each other…because after all…hot coals, bears, and two gallons of red wine don’t mix.
- Buying a condo…if I ever have to hunt down that many paycheck stubs, W-2 forms, or tax forms again…I may move to Canada and live in a tent.
- Surviving the holidays…
- Oh wait…they’re not over yet?? Damn.
This big list makes me wonder…. What will I survive next year? Who will I meet? Where will my job take me? What blessings are just around the corner?
I only know one thing….my emotional and wish-list bags are packed…ready to hop onboard this thing called life.
No, I’m not wearing “mom jeans” (maybe one day) ….but I’m comfortable in my designer jeans…marketed to women not a day over 40.