I am not yet 40, but I am next in line in the family.
Last weekend, I inherited a whole bunch of party decorations from my sister. She bought them for my brother-in-law’s simple lunch celebration at their house, which is also my home for the year, at least. I watched him carefully trying to enjoy reaching the age where life supposedly began. I saw how he squirmed at the mere thought of turning 40. I was detached and even amused last week, and told him that he had a lot to be grateful for, and no reason to be depressed. I happily counted his blessings for him.
Then came The Great Turnover. The party was over. The buntings, balloon weights, centerpieces, and banners were removed. And my loving sister collected them all and gave them to me. I was stunned at the realization that I was next. I panicked. The sight of all all those shiny “40” signs blinded instead of dazzled me. I was clearly not ready.
I still felt like I was 20, fresh out of college, idealistic, passionate, and full of hope. It was such a cliche to be afraid of a number, but there I was, taking stock of what was there and what was not, and I sank into a mini-depression.
I still had many dreams to fulfill, what if time was running out? Which should I discard, which should I pursue? I thought I was happy and on my way to a new life until the thought of where I would be next year on my birthday haunted me.
True, by admitting my age in a blog post I am probably eliminating myself from the realm of possibilities with the men-seeking-younger-women out there. But who cares? My friends are facing real health scares, with illnesses and ailments we only heard about from our parents before. It is time to face reality.
I often joke that my only goal is not to look my age. Thanks to my parents’ genes and Clinique, my skin does not have visible signs of aging yet. But I have more concerns than my face, and it is time to shift to second gear.
This chance I have to pursue my creative side, to pause and reflect, to focus on my health, to enjoy life outside my small world – I should embrace it with more passion.
I should walk my talk and count my blessings.
And take out my proverbial pen and paper and start writing!