Wow. I seem to write a lot about age. And aging.
Yep… ah well… here’s another one:
Yeah, baby. Forty.
Actually, not much different than 37, 38, or 39…
Definitely different than 23, that’s for sure.
Even 28, thirty… and 35…. Sigh.
Officially Over the Hill.
If you believe all those dollar store banners and cocktail napkins.
This whole middle-age thing is a factor that didn’t really occur to me as forty started to approach. Yes, it is a milestone and it is a big birthday. But I was too interested in the party aspect of it all.
Finally, a big birthday celebration in my honour!
Let’s rewind back to age thirty to give you some background as to why I was so excited about forty.
Thirtieth birthday. Big milestone right there. Up until then I had experienced the tenth birthday (double digits for the rest of my life – pretty big deal). Then sweet sixteen. Followed by eighteen where half my friends weren’t old enough to get into the bar but we still managed to get in a pretty darn good birthday. And then twenty-one – legal everywhere. Don’t really remember much about that birthday. Twenty-five was a good one too if I can recall that far back…
I was about 8 months pregnant with my first child and stone-cold sober.
And while it was an incredibly exciting time in my life, it was not quite what I had in mind for a major-milestone birthday.
And yes, I know you don’t have to drink to have fun… well, maybe YOU don’t…
It was a May birthday – so it was pretty hot. And I was as big as a whale, so no matter what the temperature was, I was overheating.
And watching others getting more and more drunk while they celebrated my big day…
Did I mention I was sober the whole time?
And hubby will be upset that I’m bringing this up (again, for the 100th time)… but the party was at our place.
I actually had to help organize and clean.
On my birthday. My thirtieth birthday.
I ended up stomping off in all my glowing, graceful pregnantness (which actually was non-existent with the swollen ankles and huge ass) and stalked over to the local spa and got a pedicure instead.
Then we had the party and I was still sober.
So this year, for my fortieth, it was done up right. Oh sweet lord, hubby redeemed himself and more.
Yes, we still had a party at our place, and yes I did help clean a bit. But hubby took over and I was instead put in charge of picking up booze and food.
Having to go out shopping and not clean for my own party? Sign me up!
And we had a great time. We even moved furniture around to create a dance-floor.
My kind of house party.
Oh! And no children.
My kind of house party!
I love my boys dearly. But there is a time and a place; and by the time I was on my fourth glass of wine, it was neither the time nor the place for my boys…
What a night. Thank you hubby.
Oh, and did I forget to mention the teensy weensy fact that earlier in my birthday-month-extravaganza hubby actually whisked me away on a surprise trip to Vegas?
I didn’t write about that? Really?
How could I possibly forget to print out the most fun-filled, exhilarating yet relaxing, extravagant and amazing birthday weekend ever?
Hmmm… My apologies.
Wanna hear about it now?
He had been planning this trip for about 4-5 months and just about everyone I know in this world knew about it!
And it isn’t like I was oblivious. I was on the lookout, waiting and wondering if he could possibly do any better than my thirtieth birthday… I was searching for signs, watching him a bit closely, looking for information…
And nothing. I was completely blind-sided!
We had three couples join us on this once-in-a-lifetime birthday trip. It was incredible!
Limo rides, a gorgeous hotel room, a booked cabana with our own personal incredibly-built-and-very-young-pool-boy-server, an amazing Cirque show (you GOTTA see Ka), a fabulous night of partying in a nearby Irish pub, seeing Jersey Boys – one of my favourite all time musicals for sure (you really really GOTTA see Jersey Boys), and partying with such fantastic friends and the best hubby in the world…
Yep. A trip to Vegas. It was kick ass! Absolute best birthday EVER!
And now that the glitz and glamour and trips and well-wishes have faded into my now middle-aged memory, I realize that there is a bit of tarnish to this whole being forty thing.
Yeah yeah, there was a lot of stuff leading up to being forty. Aches, pains, unwanted hair in places that will never be mentioned here and a plethora of other ailments and annoyances that seems to come with getting older.
Like not sleeping. And not being able to remember much of anything from one day to the next.
Which is scary when I go to work. It seems every time I step into the office, I feel bombarded by people asking me about things that happened just last week but for all intents and purposes, my Swiss-cheese brain remembers it only as something that may have vaguely occurred… are they talking about a report done up in 2004 or a note passed to me in grade nine? Wait… I wrote that email? At work? Was I coherent? Did I happen to answer my own question in that message or by any chance include my grocery list in there somewhere?
And did I drive to work today or take the train? One of my biggest fears is rushing home on the train to pick up the kids only to realize at the last stop that my car is downtown in the parking lot by my office building…
Maybe I need to play Sudoku. Doesn’t that help retain memory loss? Yawn… if anything will help my sleep issues…
Maybe I need to play the Memory game. Sounds like more fun than a math game. Just saying.
Maybe my memory problems have to do with lack of sleep. I don’t even want to go into that.
I’ve just come to accept that I’m a cruddy sleeper and so are pretty much all the other women I know around my age and older.
Doesn’t help me to repeat that mantra at 3:30 in the morning, but what are you gonna do?
Besides pop Melatonin. Which doesn’t help anyway…
And actually, I find I do a lot of my best thinking at night. I keep pen and paper by my bed to jot things down… doesn’t help me fall asleep, but the next day when I read my list, I’m giving myself a mental pat-on-the-back for being so brilliant…
And you know, actually, being forty… I had a picture of what it would be like.
I liked to think I would be blissful and calm and relaxed and in control…
And what the hell is with my acne? Are you kidding me?
If anything makes me feel less relaxed and frigging blissful, it would be the massive break out I’m currently experiencing on my forty year old face! And my back. What the hell?
Doesn’t help that as I sit here and type, my muffin top has turned into a baker’s dozen… holy hell, my jeans are shrinking… I always heard that the metabolism goes when you turn forty… crap. They were right.
Things like that make me wonder who in the world coined the term ‘growing old gracefully’… is there such a thing? Do you actually achieve that at any point or does it only happen when you stop bitching and griping in public (and in blogs)…
Guess it won’t be happening for me anytime soon because I’m just getting started.
I haven’t even mentioned anything about how I sometimes find music too loud in pubs now. What is up with that? Since when have I ever complained about loud music? And the movies. The sound is way too loud in there too. We are all going to damage something. Do the hearing-aid companies have stock in THX or something?
And I’m starting to wear sensible shoes.
Not that I’ve ever been a stiletto babe (more like Birkenstocks, thank you very much), but now I can’t get away with those cute little flip floppy sandals at Wal-Mart and Payless. Now I need something sturdier. With more support.
Not to say my Birkenstocks are the least bit sexy, but I feel like I’m reliving my university days while still wearing something orthotically correct… I truly believe in my own little illusion that I’m somewhat cool. If that ain’t a middle-age cornerstone, what is?
And I should remind myself that just because I can still hairspray my bangs within an inch of their life and wear blue eyeliner like I did in the ’80’s doesn’t necessarily mean I should walk down that particular memory lane… so should I ditch the comfy Birks?
That’s another thing. Am I even relevant anymore? Was I ever?
Like for instance, when it comes to fashion… ha ha ha – I think we all know the answer to that if you’ve seen me… I’m not even going to continue down that precariously long and windy road…
Or what about current events or even current music?
When I was in my early ’20’s I was out in the world, learning about art, going to galleries and museums and soaking up culture and checking out bands and heading to concerts and traveling…
And now all I want is a good glass of wine (it doesn’t even have to be that good – just basically red… ish) and a good book (and no, I definitely don’t mean 50 shades of Gray;, but I am however really interested to see the movie)… and I really really crave a good night’s sleep…
Cool? Cutting Edge?
I think not.
Listening to the only alternative-rock station in Calgary doesn’t necessarily make me edgy. I mean really, does that even sound like a sentence a non-middle-aged person would write?
If I ever had that edgy, cool side to me, it is absolutely lost to me now…
Not like I don’t feel young some days. Some days I have energy and I’m confident and even my disgusting BMI count doesn’t bother me…
And some days… not so much.
I haven’t even started on what is to come.
Hot flashes. Sweet lord. I am a-feared of the hot flashes.
That whole menopausal adventure seems to loom before me like some great desert-scape of hormonal hell… I dread it.
I’m probably already pre-menopausal and don’t know it.
Do you think?
I could be…
Whatever. I’m going to bed.