Stage 1: Denial
“There is NO WAY 1978 was almost 40 years ago!” I remember telling my husband this the night before my 39th birthday we he reminded me I was indeed almost 40. Truthfully, I don’t feel 40, I don’t act 40, I’ve been told I don’t look 40, surely it’s a miscalculation. Maybe it’s because suck at math…that must be it. 2018-1978=40. F*UCK!
Stage 2: Anger
I was mad. Where had the last 40 years gone? What have I done with my life? I was literally a rebellious teenager. Staying out WAY too late was the norm. As was drinking too much. (NB: I live in a pedestrian town…no drinking & driving kiddos!) I picked fights with my husband for funsies (verbal…Make love not war y’all). It was like I had reverted into my 20 year old self. The only problem was I wasn’t single and in college, I was married with children & the responsibilities that come with.
Step 3: Bargaining/Reckoning
Bargaining was my side-hustle. I was bargaining for everything! Whatever I thought I had missed out on in my first 40, I was making a list to complete by the time I was 40, with all of the caveats of the whole adulating/parenting thing. I was going fix everything I missed or messed up in the last 39 years.
- I was going to run daily.
- I was going to wake up early and have time alone.
- I was going to read more. I was going to say no more and do more on my terms.
- I was going to travel alone or with my girlfriends.
- I was going to have a night off 1 night a week to do whatever I wanted, alone.
I, I, I, I, I. I was channeling my inner millennial and being very selfish. I rationalized this by telling myself I deserved it. In all fairness, to some degree I did.
Step 4: Depression-ish[Note: Depression is no joke. I suffer from high functioning anxiety and depression, that is not this]
As the year progressed, my “I” list was more of my “meh” list. I was checking nothing off of my list. Then it was summer and it was so hot! We have no A/C where I live, so you survive summer buy doing nothing. Laying around the house. Laying by the lake. You literally want to move or breathe as little as possible so you don’t sweat in every crevice of your body. So, I went into full sloth mode. Although still contemplating the meaning of life, just not wanting to act on anything.
Step 5: Acceptance
So, my two best friends from high school were visiting in August. They were also turning 40. After a LONG night out talking, drinking, and confiding in each other, we got tattoos! So cliché, right? But we did, small ones and my first. (I also got my nose pierced) It was then I realized I didn’t give a f*uck about 40. It’s an insignificant number that I refuse to let define me.
Do I use my college degree? Nope. Do I have three beautiful, competent, independent kiddos who I get to engage in their lives? Yep. Have I a wonderful husband who loves my faults as much as my strengths? Most days. The freedoms I have many women don’t/can’t have. I get to travel with my family & have amazing girls trips too. I’m living in f*cking Italy! What is wrong with me?!?!?
Now I’m here. I AM living my best life NOW!
Any one else struggling with aging? Talk to me Goose!