Today I woke up to the big 4-0! I am fine with the number. It doesn't bother me. Especially since I have experienced the loss of many friends & family before some made it to 2o, 30 or 40 themselves. I should be grateful to be here on this earth to have another birthday and I am grateful.
I am 14,610 days old. What did I do with all of those days? So many things. Some I remember and some I don't. Some things are worth remembering and some are not.
What really sucks about today is the fact that I have been fighting this upper respiratory infection since last week. I started taking the Z-Pak (which is a 5 day antibiotic) on Monday and I should be feeling better by today but I do not. I just want to be able to use both nostrils to draw air in and out of my body instead of just one.
I went to open the blinds in the living room when I got up this morning and when I looked out the window, I noticed some balloons in front of the bushes. What was that?! So I go outside, looking like I just rolled out of bed because I did with my nose red and crusty from sneezing continuously, wearing cropped sweatpants a jacket and slippers.
Turns out my husband made up signs for my birthday all on his own. I was a bit surprised. He's never done anything like that before. I guess I'm not thrilled with the idea that the entire neighborhood and everyone who might drive though it today will see my name and my age as big as day right in front of my house! However, I think it was very thoughtful of my husband to do such a thing. I guess he really does love me or does he...depends on if you think it is cruel to put up such things in front of ones house.
We have reservations at one of my very favorite restaurants tonight but I don't know how much I will enjoy it since I am really pretty sick. My mom is here visiting from Chicago and we are having a party with friends at a nearby restaurant this weekend. I just don't know when I am going to start to feel better!
I did realize yesterday while filling out papers at the doctors office that it was the very last time I could put down '39' next to AGE on the form. 30 anything for that matter. Now I will write the #4 first for the next 10 years!
I grew up when the first VCR was introduced and I remember people talking about Betamax and Pac-Man & Donkey Kong. Heaven knows how much time and quarters I spent at the arcade back in the day. I also remember when CD players came into the world. I spent $400 on an Onkyo one-disc CD player back in the late 80's (I think...you know the memory is always the first thing to go!) That is unheard of now of course! But it was the new technology, something which I have ALWAYS been drawn to.
There is one thing I do not like about aging. The fact that my parents along with my aunts & uncles are all aging too. I don't want them to leave me. Ever. I will never be ready to let my parents leave this earth. No matter how old they are and no matter how old I am. I know this is the circle of life and we can not stop it from happening but I don't want to face it either.
We all feel younger than our calendar age on the inside, right? It's the mirror that reminds us that we aren't as young as we used to be or the falls on the ice when trying to ice skate with our children that we realize that fall is much farther from the ground than it used to be and much more painful than we remember!
I do remember when I was maybe 10 years old and my mom was in her early thirties. I recall telling her how old I thought that was. I look at my kids now and wonder what they see when they look at me. Their mom. Do they think I'm old? Do they think I look old? I don't know and I am definitely not about to ask them! Kids can be brutally honest and honestly is not what I need from them in regards to my appearance!
With age comes wisdom (and the desire to make my hair even blonder) and I do sometimes think if I only knew then what I know now! If I could go back in time and tell my 18 year old self anything it would be this: I know you are feeling a lot of pain but you are stronger than you think. You don't need a man to be happy. You might not fulfill all of your dreams but you will do good with your life. Oh and BTW...when you are 35, you will FINALLY meet Rick Springfield! :)
Not much advise I could go back and give myself I guess. If I went back in time and did that, it might change everything and I don't think that's what I want because all of the mistakes, all of the love and loss and everything in between is what made me who I am today, good, bad, right or wrong. Plus I might still have two kids but they wouldn't be these 2 kids and I love these 2 kids that I have.
I have been reflecting on my life quite a bit for the past 6 months. Mostly because of the unexpected death of my ex husband in July 2008. He was only 38 years old. We have a 13 year old daughter together. It has been more than I can bare along with our daughter. He was never father of the year but he loved our daughter. He also loved me. This much I knew of him. Looking back at when we met and dated and our marriage, we never saw how much our lives would turn in such different directions. It is unfortunate but we can't change it.
When you get to a milestone birthday such as 40, try not to look back and think about what you could have done differently. I am desperately trying not to do that. Instead, look at what you have accomplished, look at what you have learned from your mistakes. Push forward and plan for the future no matter what life throws at you. We all make mistakes as children to our parents, as students to our teachers, as parents to our children, as husbands/wives to our spouses and just as human beings trying to find our place in this beautiful & cruel world.
Age is nothing to be afraid of. I can embrace 40. I just wish I looked 25!