Saturday, July 21, 2012

On turning 40...

For many months I have known that turning forty would be rough. It's a silly thing, age, and yet forty has always seemed like the beginning of the end, an age when even venturing into the juniors department would become off limits, when I could no longer pretend to be a young woman.  I think that turning forty, in combination with the stress of our move and with having to start a new life felt very big indeed.

Amy's arrival brought comfort, but I still felt shaky. We got our toes done and went to the pool, but I could not ignore the feeling of being overexcited and a little too keyed up, of the day feeling too big- too important. At dinner I could not eat, though I thoroughly enjoyed opening my mother's birthday gift to me- a box filled with forty surprises, one for each year of my life. Some were silly, like the musical "birthday hat" and others were just perfect, like the turquoise Fiestaware salt and pepper shakers.

By the time the day ended I was exhausted, but I did not sleep well and by the morning I could no longer deny that I was a complete wreck. Amy and I had planned a day of junking and nachos, but instead I spent the morning with a half a Valium and some rest. In the afternoon we made it out to a junk store, but I felt sick and exhausted.

"What if I never feel better? What if I never feel hungry again?" I asked Amy.

"You'll be okay." She reassured me.

Last night we ordered in some chicken and watched 30 Rock in bed and slowly I started to relax. By the time I went to bed, this time with a full Valium, I could feel my appetite coming back which was a relief. I slept well, though I dreamed of sharks, but woke up feeling hungry and measurably better.

For breakfast I cut a slice of thick crusty whole wheat bread. I put the pieces of bread into the toaster and waited. The edges browned and the slices steamed and toasted. I took them out and spread them with butter. The butter melted into the bread, and when I finally bit into them I knew I would be okay.  The toast was perfect, crisp, and buttery. My birthday was over and I was eating toast.

Today Amy and I went to a different junk store, ate some nachos, and then we all went out to dinner and I can say that I have recovered and for that I am very grateful. I am most especially grateful for Amy who flew here expecting fun and mostly spent the time talking me out of a very brief 24 hour mid life crisis. How wonderful is Amy? This is the gift she made me for my birthday.

I think forty is going to be okay.

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