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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

With much expectation...40.

After a lovely long weekend with Warren (thoughtful gifts, a surprise bed and breakfast trip, a little surprise celebration at my sisters' apartment) I am 40 years old today.

I thought I would/should have something incredibly witty, insightful and profound to say about this milestone. In fact, I had very much planned to. I'm sure that I planned my profound Turning Forty journal/blog entry all year long, as a matter of fact.

But I do not have those things to say. At all. Curious.

For as long as I can recall, I've used occasions like birthdays, Christmas/Solstice and the New Year as starting points for all these fabulous changes and improvements. I've spent most of my life trying to arrive at some elusive point of perfection, where I would be perfectly loved by all, entirely clear and focused and successful (having done everything I have ever said that I wanted to do by the time I was 40, of course).

I expected that turning 40 meant that I was going to come into a Promised Land where I could finally be completely free of anxiety or regret, and be somehow, totally self-actualized. I more than half-expected some sort of peak experience.

You know what? It simply has not worked out that way.

I was going to write these big huge letters to people I've known, loved, and lost, affirming their significance to me. I was going to carefully place everyone and myself, through my words, into some sort of emotional chart. I was going to review everything about my life and I was going to stick a great big red pushpin on where exactly I find myself at this moment in time. And I was going to draw a comparison between my age and all the cultural symbolism of 40 years.

It ain't happening.

It seems a great deal more energy-efficient (on many levels) to simply...let it go. Not to become apathetic, but to just stop striving to be something all the time. It's too damn hard.

I'm here, now, and I'm thankful to Life that I'm alive and well. I'm engaged to a beautiful, wonderful man, my children are healthy and relatively happy, and I'm realizing my dream of living in Montréal while getting an education. I may not be as glorious and as fabulous and as airbrushed as I was in my fantasies, but I think I can be okay with that.

Wow. That almost sounds like equanimity.

I'd ponder that more, but I've got about 15 minutes to get dressed and out the door.