I just had my 40th birthday on Sunday. I wouldn’t say that I celebrated it. I know that a lot of people have a hard time with birthdays and normally I’m okay with turning another year older. I look at it like an achievement. Like I’ve won a marathon that was 365 days long. I lived through another year. Normally it’s not that big of a deal, except this year.
The decade markers are usually pretty big. When I turned 20 it was a let down because I still wasn’t old enough to legally do the things that everyone I knew was doing. After that my 20s became busy with marriage and my first child. I don’t know where the decade went.
When I was 30, I had just had a second baby. My thirties have been busy with raising a teenager and an Autistic son. It was a lot of difficult times. I kept telling myself that by the time I was 40 everything would be sorted out and I could really concentrate on me and my goals of becoming a writer.
But here we are. 40. I’m still raising a teenager, still fighting the good fight with Autism and we are starting over again with jobs and bills. 3 months of employment without work tends to make things difficult to say the least. What happened to “when I’m 40 it will all settle down”? What happened to working on my life goals? Well…
I recently watched a little old lady walking down the street and I realize that I’m 40 and my body is falling apart. It’s mostly from stress, lack of sleep, and exercise but it’s still not good. Watching that little old lady made me realize that my life is at it’s halfway point, if I don’t do something now I won’t be in any shape to walk around by my 70s. I’m going to have to figure some way to fit in exercise and writing and housework and research and scheduling and, and, and, and… I’m the only one who can do it. No one can help me with it. If I’m going to fix myself and my life then it must be done by me.
So I guess my 40s won’t be the decade of settling down and working toward goals. It will be the decade of forging forward like a ship plowing through ginormous waves headed for home where a hot meal and warm bath are waiting. I can no longer afford to be drug along by the storm of my life. I ain’t gettin’ any younger! I must find a way to reach my goals and continue being the best mom that I can.
So, for whom does the Birthday Bell toll? It tolls for me!