One week from today I turn 40. All day long I couldn’t help but hear the Wicked Witch of the West in my ear, as if she had turned over the hourglass and cackled, “This is how long you have left to be in your thirties… Yee hee hee hee hee hee hee!”
I said before that I’m not upset about this birthday, and I’m not — at least not in the traditional sense. Sure I have the normal hangups about aging and its impact on my looks but truthfully, I am far more comfortable in my skin (literally and figuratively) than I was ten years ago, or even twenty years ago. I suppose that is the joke life plays on you — that you can’t have the wisdom, self-confidence and sense of purpose that comes with age AND a flat stomach at the same time.
Body issues aside, what I’ve mostly been reflecting on is simply the passage of time and whether I’ve lived up to my own expectations of my life and myself. More morbidly, if I died tomorrow, would I feel like I had done everything I should have/could have? The answer is a resounding NO (so I really hope I don’t get hit by a bus tomorrow). In a way that is frightening and in a way it is also very exciting. I feel young precisely because I have so much left to do. I’ve already started my career over, and now that my kids are getting older, there will be more freedom to contemplate what else I want to contribute to this world while I am still in it.
So the old witch won’t have any power over me come next Tuesday. But I think I’ll wear red shoes just in case…
What about you? Have you had some birthdays that were better or worse than you expected?