Friday, May 9th, 2008 • No Comments on Time Marches On
Somehow, the days have slipped away… and in the days since I last blogged, I had a birthday. Didn’t notice? That’s okay… I was pretty low key about it this year. 41 seems so… mature. Grownup. Serious. Old. I wasn’t all about the birthday this year, though I had (and am still having) a lovely birthday. There were all sorts of goodies and cards and flowers and chocolate… I still have Birthday Week gifts to open and perhaps a few more lunches, dinners and outings to celebrate the occasion. So, it’s not as if I went into seclusion for my birthday. I just didn’t
it every day for a month as I have in previous years.
It seems as if I spent years thinking about what I would do for my fortieth birthday—as if that magic number took forever to roll around—and here I am at forty-one. Solidly in my forties, though I rarely feel like it. I have friends who are a decade younger and I don’t feel like they can out-anything me. But I am definitely 41, not 31. I am now the target of those life insurance commercials (If you were born between 1928 and 1968, call us for more information… ). I have an IRA and think about where we will retire almost as often as I think about becoming a mother in my 40s. The two thoughts seem at odds with each other… and in other ways, it seems to make complete sense for me.
Birthdays always make me more contemplative and turning 40 wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. I expected adventure and a new sense of freedom, and there was some of that. But I lost a lot in the past year—more than I could have imagined. Forty became a year of letting go… of realizing that I can’t change anyone, fix things beyond my control or help people who don’t want to be helped—and sometimes not even then. I also learned that I reach the point where I no longer wish to try because it takes more out of me than I care to give. I discovered there comes a moment when time runs out and hope dies and time sometimes heals old wounds and some hurts will never, ever go away.
Forty was a year of opportunities and learning; unexpected joys and startling sorrows. I put a lot of pressure on 40 to be spectacular, and it wasn’t. Not entirely. It was a year of self-discovery. Or the continuation of self-discovery. I don’t know what 41 will bring, but I don’t think I’m finished learning just yet.