I turn 40 this year. Turns out a lot of people I know do too. And a lot of people I don’t know also. Yesterday, I read this article about a Brooklyn woman turning 40: Age 40: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I really understood the perspective, and celebrated it, as I’ve been having conversations with a number of girlfriends who are also approaching this milestone and it feels like we’re all in a similar place – learning to understand what we choose or choose not to accept in our lives, asking for what we need (and not always in the most gentle or understated ways), putting aside the long lists of to dos, even if very very sporadically to carve out a little bit of space for our own flickering little lights to shine (those lights that may have been hiding under a bushel and quite oxygen-starved for what feels like a long, long time).
But the article also made me feel something else. The author sounds like she’s just so together. She’s got this thing down. She’s 40, she knows what she likes and what she doesn’t and she’s willing to ask for the former. She’s set her life up so well, she’s successful, she’s not worrying about a few extra pounds or dwelling on mistakes or trying so very much to please everyone all the time, or comparing herself to everyone else or judging the choices of others.
I love that. And the mindset, I get it and appreciate it. But for me the logistics of it all are still, well, impossible. In approaching 40 I feel a whole lot of clarity on the what, but a whole hell of a lot of frustration in the how.
Of course, I’m not QUITE 40 yet. I have over six months to go. So I’m going to keep giving that little light periodic bouts of oxygen (as I’m doing right this very minute), I’m going to clear some clutter (physical, mental, and to-do list clutter), I’m going to figure out a workable childcare situation that supports my kids’ and my needs, I’m going to make a space in my home where I can be productive and creative instead of always needing to be in a cafe or my car to think clearly, and, for now, I’m going to leave the towels hanging as curtains in my bedroom windows, I’m going to appreciate that I have a kitchen with running hot water and a gas stove instead of worrying about the horses on the tiles.
And who knows, maybe by the magical day when I enter my fifth decade I, too, will have caught my stride.