Feb. 16, 2009 at 4:47pm
(forty is an amazing number.)
I will admit to being depressed as the imminent four-zero loomed. I felt like the number marked the ultimate, "kiss your youth goodbye" moment.
Possibly, I did kiss youth goodbye. Definitely, I ushered in a Better Era.
The last forty years have been all about me finding my stride. When I first began running, I would either sprint or, exhausted, stop. As I became a better runner, I discovered that I could slow down and take in the sights, the smells, the ideas, the thoughts, and it all lasted longer and was more enjoyable... and even if I wasn't running a seven minute mile, I was experiencing Life. It's almost as if, now, in the first week of year forty, the concept of finding stride has struck me.
This weekend illustrated, beautifully, that I am in a really-and-truly Wonderful World, whatever number you call me, and despite the fact that my regularly scheduled day job ended effective the Friday before the week of my B-Day. The Monday after that,The Man had pearls sent to me. Very nice pearls. And there's a symbolism there that I had to visit: difficulty, and time, beget beauty.
My sister came home Wednesday night. I say "home" though this part of the world hasn't been hers since the mid --late? --eighties; for her own reasons she's seen the rest of the world as a flight attendant and then as a housewife in England, and now Orlando. I was proud to show her the places, things, and people I love. Thursday as the kid was in school (and my actual birthday) we went to my Top Three Places I Love: Dwell, Mad Hat, and The Rosewood. Maureen impressed my sister with her knowledge-in-bare-feet sensibility (and the people in the airport loved searching her bags, assuming the green stuff in baggies wasn't to be placed in water and drunk) Barry gained my sister's love when he and his staff served us a yummy lunch and lovely wine, and then later, after my kid decided we weren't invited to her V-Day party despite offering treats, he offered us tastes of wine from a Washington winery whose offerings were truly lovely. Shelly earned our love-- and my sister's $50 overweight luggage fee-- with wonderful wonderful amazing trinkets for her to take home to house and kid sitters (and herself, along with the tea.)
Then Friday hit. My B-day party, with all things french thrown out as a thematic idea. I have to admit I left my own party before I was ready to ( a wee bit too much wine, a wee bit too little food through the course of the day meant an 11 pm pass-out --call it the rigors of old-age) --even still, lovely, lovely, wonderful, lovely, and --dare I say it again -- LOVELY friends came, even bearing gifts, flowers, well-wishes, and good times.
I realized, with the gift certs from friends (angela j and cassio-- y'all are awesome), and the letterpress-hunk-o'-love from the Chickadee, and the wine, and the ART!!!!!, that I am blessed with people in my life who *get* me. I wanted a house full of chat, laughter, food and wine, and I was not disappointed (most especially thanks to Kris, big kisses) --and it was extra fun to see my sister finally talk about her youth and background as a Tacoman, after a good hunk o' time away... fun, fun, fun times.
And then Saturday, my mom and aunt hung with us... And the kid and her auntie, and her grandma and great auntie, and I, all enjoyed Mamma Mia --fer sure, Pierce's voice had challenges. Fer sure, I wanted to be the busty, blond, thoroughly edible, beautiful-voiced bride-to be. Fer sure, it wasn't, like, the intellectual be-all and end-all of the cinematic universe. BUT my mom, my kid, my aunt, my sister, and I... we all watched, laughed, sang, and even cried. It was a family moment completely 180 degrees away from our last get-together, when we sprinkled my step-uncle on Mt Rainier.
There was joy, youth, and life, even as teh last somber occasion celebrated the same... but from a different direction...
but I realized... forty isn't the end of an era, it's the end of a chapter. I liked the last chapter, and there might have been passages I took for granted. I have memories of those passages, so it's like a book I can go back and revisit. I can revisit those chapters with loved ones from my past, like my sister and mom and aunt, or I can explain and re-tell those chapters to my kid and my man and the stories --and my past life-- can gain a new vitality.
But mostly, I feel warm and fuzzy that I have gained forty years of love, and life, and experience. I have a world-view that enables me to appreciate riches like Tiffany's and Mont Blanc pens and Pouy-something-lovely-white-wine and triple creme and French Cinema, and that I can listen to Abba in a two-thousand-and-nine context while remembering melting our borrowed library version of the "Arrival" LP in the back seat of a summer-hot car even as our mom dressed in polyester flared-leg jumpsuits and platforms... I can appreciate all this in a much-more-dear way because I know my kid is going to remember her mom and auntie laughing, crazy and giddy, singing Abba and The Sound of Music at the tops of our lungs as we remembered being her age...
I am lucky, in ways I can't ever articulate. I hope someday, as a 40 year old, my kid can *get* me, too...
comments  | posted under coming home, forty, good times., TacomaComments
by AngelaJossy on 2/16/2009 @ 8:39pm
|Agreed! Plus, unlike some forty year olds, you actually look a lot more like you just turned thirty.|
by Erik on 2/17/2009 @ 1:02am
|Dude, you are young.
However, you may find this book helpful. It is pretty cool and science based on what effects someone's happiness:
The good news is that circumstances such as age, money and marital status etc total only effect 10 percent of our happiness.
by chrism39 on 2/17/2009 @ 9:18am
|I was not invited to your party. I am offended. Just kidding, i'm glad you had such a good week, you deserve it.|
musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.