So, I woke up Sunday morning and, click, I was forty. Just like that.
They say it's only a number, but no. It's a milestone. The halfway point (if you're lucky) of a long life. It's the door incontrovertibly closing on your youth.
I feel lots of things about being forty. I'm a little scared, a little weepy, incredibly uncomfortable with the sound of it. But also, I have big plans for this decade. I'm going to own this shit like it's my job. And to light a little fire under my ass I will start the way I always do, with a list.
A list of things I have, can do, know about, or am better at now that I'm 40.
1. I can sew:
I can make things for my friends and family; quilts and stuffies, small tokens of love that they'll have forever. Little things that I start planning late at night, things I imagine when I have a free moment. Things I lay out over weeks and then, on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I stitch together. Whatever pleasure the receivers of my little gifts feel at having them is just a small fraction of the pleasure I get from making them.
2. I can run:
(My second 5k! Day before 40 & I shaved 20 seconds per mile off my time. Boom.)
I finally, finally can use my legs for more than walking back and forth between the couch and refrigerator.
3. I am married to Josh:
I know I technically married Josh when I was in my thirties, but these last couple of years have reawakened in my heart and in my memory everything that I imagined marriage could be. He is my partner and my best friend. His is the last face I want to see before I close my eyes at night and the first I want to see when I open them again in the morning. He is the best father Dash could hope for and an inspiration for us both. At forty I feel, maybe more than I ever have, well and truly married.
I mean. Dash. I would turn forty a hundred times over if it meant knowing Dash at five. Dash at five is the funniest, sweetest, weirdest, sweatiest, most beautiful creature imaginable. And I get to be his mom.
5. I cook:
I can cook! I mean, maybe I'm not great. Maybe I don't have an arsenal of amazing recipes at my disposal. But I can cook. I can make jams and I can host Thanksgiving dinner & make a brisket for Jennukah a week later. I can even make ice cream. From scratch.
6. I'm learning to draw:
One of Josh's many beautiful, amazing birthday gifts to me (along with a pair of Tiffany earrings, what what!) was art classes! I'm on week three and, Christ, it's embarrassing, but I'm learning and I'm trying and I'm not giving up.
7. I love where we live:
We made a very hard choice to move out of our home into a rented one. It was scary and I cried more than I think I ever had when we came to the realization that we had to say goodbye to home-ownership. But it was the right choice for us. It meant so many more options for our lives, so much more of everything else now that an unsustainable mortgage was off our shoulders.
And the actual house, oh the house! We love it here so, so much. Dash spends every moment he's home, until the sun goes down, playing in the quiet streets with his new friends from the neighborhood. We sit on the porch, drinking wine & playing Words With Friends, occasionally stopping to tie a water balloon or watch a skateboard trick. It's the kind of quiet, silly, unburdened life I wished for from the moment Dash was born.
8. I can make things with my hands:
I crochet blankets, for friends' babies and those babies who need but may not have a blanket of their own. I can embroider and silkscreen. I can even design my own fabric. I can fold origami and make pup tents. I finally, at forty, feel completely undaunted by almost any project someone might throw at me. Except learning to use the thermostat (see #3).
There are more (I can throw a party with 2 hours notice, I can choose the watermelon slice over the chocolate chip cookie, I can ride a bike and on and on), but I'll stop here.
OK, forty through forty-nine. Let's tear it up. You & me.