So, 40 happened.
I have never really had issue with aging. In fact I have always felt pretty good about having had my kids while young and having been able to do so much with them while I had all that energy. I barely feel like I’ve aged since high school anyway.
Then came 40.
It didn’t bother me at first but everyone made such a big deal about it I started to wonder if it should. Should I be questioning my life choices? Should I be regretting things I hadn’t done and may never get around to now? Should I start being concerned about imminent health issues that have yet to manifest but apparently lurk around the corner waiting to pounce on newly minted 40 year olds? Should I be taking this more seriously?
For a few days right before the “event” I actually allowed myself a moment or twenty of self doubt and mild panic. No hyperventilating but slight heart palpitations at the thought that I may have squandered my youth. I questioned why I hadn’t traveled more, taken more college courses and learned another language. Is it too late? Can a 40 year old brain learn Italian? Can a 40 year old body train for a first marathon? Should I have gone to St. Lucia pre-childbirth and during prime bikini years? Should I have gotten a law degree and then had children, allowing me to return to a career as opposed to starting from scratch?
Pop? Nope. Fizzle? Nope. End of life as I’d known it? Uh, no.
It came in like any other year and left behind a mildly anti-climatic feel. I didn’t wake up to a head full of greys. I didn’t get hit by a one – two punch of instant crows feet and wrinkles when I looked in the mirror. No arthritis, back ache, gout or onset dementia. My passport wasn’t revoked, my drivers licence is still valid and Rosetta Stone will happily take my money for Italian, German, French or Mandarin lessons. Top that off with reading a delightful article on how many students currently in law school, college and university are 30, 40 or even, (Heaven Forbid!) 50 years of age and it was pretty much a bust as an Armageddon birthday.
What I did ponder today was, what do I want to do with this next chapter in my life. Do I want to go to school? Change careers? Sky dive? Visit Indonesia? Carry on with the happy little life I’m leading? Mend fences or let go? Should I maintain the status quo or shake things up a bit?
Essentially, I concluded that instead of worrying about what I hadn’t done with my life I could be excited about all the things ahead of me and what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
So, 40 happened.
Apparently it hasn’t been to the gym much because it sure didn’t pack much of a punch.