The closer I get to forty, the less I feel like it’s the end of the world. After all, we’ve now survived 12-12-12, and even 12:12:12 on 12-12-12 (twice). That just leaves 12-21-12, and I’ve got a good feeling about that.
Actually, I’m looking forward to forty.
On a trivial level, it’s a nice, round, even number. There’s an uber-tidy geek who loves the number two hiding inside my cool exterior. That geek is pleased by the number forty.
Generally, I’ve had a lot of fun in the last forty years and hope to keep going with it! There’s so much I still want to do, like
- Singing lessons
- Taking the kids to see mountains, pan for gold, and see snow
- Learning to shoot a pistol
- Camping with my family
- Making quilts for the kids
- Reading LOTS of books
- Going to Maine with my family
- Fixing up our house some more
- Publishing poetry
- Go skiing again
- Going everywhere Rick Steves has been
- Go sailing with my husband
- Do all the cool things around Sarasota that we haven’t done
- Sleep late
On a deeper level, I finally feel entitled to take up some space in the world. Since I was brought up the good, old-fashioned Puritan way, I’ve been respecting my elders ever since I can remember. When I was about seven, my mom explained the rules about who goes through a door first or gets to sit down first or gets served first, and I remember thinking that kids got a raw deal. The only ones lower on the totem pole than little girls were little boys!
So, approaching forty, I feel like I’ve climbed a chunk of that totem pole. The odds are that I’m older than about half the population. (For now, we’ll leave out the fact that I live in southwest Florida.) I’m an “elder” these days! Small children should respect me. Bwah-ha-ha-ha! My kids should hold doors for me, carry my packages, fetch me things, let me pick the first cookie off the tray, pull out my chair…oh, who am I kidding?
Still, if they DO manage to remember their manners, I feel like I can accept graciously. I don’t feel as much like a teenager masquerading as a grown-up as I used to.
It’s just nice to let go of that feeling that life is a pass/fail class with a lot of picky professors looking over my shoulder. It’s nice to think, “No, thanks. I think I’ll do it this way.”
At forty, I feel like I have a license to live!