I wrote this in April, turned 40 in May, and am publishing it December 31st, 2018… all I can say is this – 40 doesn’t feel any different than 39… minus needing my glasses a bit more… I had hoped to publish this before my birthday on the Huffington Post but they switched their format and I missed it, and so is life. At least now I have pictures to use from all my celebrations! As the year closes out and I reflect on my blessings, my mind came back to this piece. So farewell 2018, farewell to the last year I will be in my 30’s. I guess it still counts if I post this before midnight!
In May I’m turning 40. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the last decade and a half.
I spent most of my 30s saying I was 25 and either wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, or recovering from being pregnant.
I was growing a baby, nursing a baby, holding the hand of a toddler, pushing a swing, or helping with homework.
I experienced natural birth, a C-section, and a VBAC.
We moved twice. Bought a house. Bought a car. Bought a car that was bigger. Complained about trunk space.
I had multiple mammograms, my wisdom teeth removed, an endoscopy, a D & C. I went to the dentist every 6 months. Almost.
I had ten physicals. I went to Trader Joe’s approximately 7 million times. Social media became a thing, I started a blog.
For my 30th birthday I went out with my friends to a 80s/90s club. My husband & I finally scored a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barn (and it was even better than we expected!). We treated ourselves to a five star vacation and I stayed at the hotel of my dreams.
I also went to California, Paris, Spain, Washington DC (to watch President Obama get inaugurated), Atlanta, Greece, London, Italy, Aruba and Turks & Caicos. Delray Beach, Philadelphia, the Poconos, Disney World, Sesame Place, the Crayola Factory, Diggerland, Dutch Wonderland, and Hershey Park. I became a member of the zoo. By the way, I freaking love the zoo.
I spent New Years in the heart of Times Square and also took 27 semesters of Music Together.
I partied with U2, the Counting Crows and Prince and also rocked out to the Dirty Sock Funtime Band (I plead the fifth on whose lyrics I knew better).
I took the M5 Limited bus down 5th Avenue approximately 257 times. I bought a Subaru.
I saw many Broadway shows.
I saw a lot of regional children’s theatre.
I slept in castles.
I slept on a cot… in a tent… at Girl Scout camp.
We applied to nursery school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
I enrolled my daughter in free public school on Long Island.
I went to movie premiers with celebrities.
I watched Princess movie DVDs that I rented from the library.
I went to the library.
I went to the library.
I went to the library.
By the way, I freaking love the library.
I mocked people who went to drive-thrus.
I praised the lord for drive-thrus.
I screamed at cars going 40 on the highway.
I was that car going 40 praying for my child to nap so I could have five minutes of peace.
I have the same bank account, the same Birkenstocks, and still only one television.
I had several Blackberries, until I was forced into an iPhone, and still speak of my Palm Pilot Vx in the present tense. I often threaten to re-connect my Star-tac.
I learned playing explicit 90s Hip Hop is best with a preverbal child.
I tried to meditate but had to stop every five minutes to write something on my to do list.
I took 500 yoga classes and still can’t do a head stand.
I planned my 20th high school reunion and attended 8 1/2 months pregnant. At least my hair looked good.
I planned 35 birthday parties. I attended about 430.
I took a cooking class overlooking the Mediterranean.
I ate a lot of granola bars.
I walked 5,110 miles on Manhattan pavement.
I taught my daughter how to ride a two wheeler bike on our suburban driveway.
My jewelry taste went from diamonds to painted macaroni.
I embraced anger gardening.
I changed 47 million diapers.
I gave 2,920 baths.
I finally watched Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl.
I went from thinking the main character in a show is cute to liking the Dad.
I celebrated over a decade of marriage.
I donated my hair twice.
I got an Instant Pot.
I found joy in peeling hard boiled eggs and clementines.
I learned mean girls are mean girls and sadly some never mentally leave middle school – even after child birth.
I drank a lot of wine.
I ate a lot of feta cheese.
I ate avocado squashed on bread before millennials branded it with a hashtag.
I bought a power washer.
I got my legs up on a trapeze bar.
I memorized Goodnight Moon.
I gave 4 hundred billion hugs and kisses on delicious little faces that somehow my body grew, and felt warm inside when they told me I was the “BEST Mom ever”.
I screamed like a mad woman at something that didn’t matter causing tears.
I can still rap Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop”.
I still bump into walls.
My wedding China is still wrapped in its box.
As my friend pointed out – turning 30 was HUGE. For many – including myself – 30 brought attention to a certain clock and it’s ticking. But what does 40 mean? Besides clicking off a new demographic box (aye) how will my life be different? They say a number is just a number. But it is just weird to turn the page on a decade. To think we’re moving on to the next tens. Pretty much all I hear is you start caring less about stupid stuff, and honestly – I can totally get behind that.
In a decade, g-d willing, I will have one kid enroute to Michigan (compulsory), one in HS and my baby – entering middle school.
I hope every day of my 40s are as blessed as my 30s and that I can continue to feel so overwhelmingly grateful to face each new day.
As U2 says in their song “40”, “I will sing, sing a new song”.
Ech. I’m not ready… I’m standing by 25.
And still dancing to 80s/90s music.