40 + 1 (part 1): The last day of my thirties

40 + 1 (part 1): The last day of my thirties

Well, I made it here to the other side. Here’s what I’d like to share: the last day of my thirties, the final 40 till 40 list, thoughts on the fifth decade. I’ll start with the last day of my thirties.

I woke up, went for a walk outside and felt the wind on my skin. My skin liked it. I wished I were stronger. I thought about how much my body loves to be outside. And how I wished I had spent more of my thirties outside instead of inside, sitting, in recirculated air that rarely caresses you or whispers to you that you are alive.

I ate breakfast. I don’t always do this because there are so many things to do in the morning to get everyone ready but made the decision that for the last day of my thirties I should take care of myself. So I ate breakfast. So I wasn’t hungry all morning, I was patient, and I felt like someone had taken good care of me. She had, it was me.

I called my dad. At first I was going to call my mom but decided that for the last day of my thirties I would call my dad. He answered, we talked, I felt happy.

I went to the goodwill. Trip 6 (or so) of this year full of decluttering. I hate to even write this because I know my mom will read it and she will feel like I felt. I donated some stuffed animals. Someday I will post a photo of the unreasonable number of stuffed animals that have been cohabitating with my family. We had a day during the 40 till 40 where the kids and I decided which (fewer than required but it’s a first step) should go to new homes. One pair we gave away was a mother monkey with a baby and they sit together and can attach by velcro. I watched the man at the goodwill empty the bag of animals into a giant crate and saw the two monkeys separate and I guess they will never be together again. Someone will always wonder what the velcro was for on each monkey, and why the mother monkey has a big space in her arms but nothing to hold. I don’t know when I got those monkeys but don’t remember not having them. I felt that chest-tugging feeling watching them separate and wished they were still here, collecting dust together. It made me want to buy less and less because figuring out how to dispose of things that you don’t need is complex and has taken up too much of my life already. I also felt a feeling about the fact that I was there discarding more bags of stuff and a man was there dealing with my stuff and I thought about the lottery of life that made me the one with so much to donate and him the one sorting through other people’s clutter and it… felt.

I bought a dress for my daughter. I saw it there, hanging outside of the consignment shop. It was brocade. Real, beautiful fabric. It was a costume for an 8 year old. There was no picture of a disney princess on it. I walked away once but I wanted it so much for her, and probably for me, so I bought it for us for my birthday. I thought about clutter, about budgets, about materialism. And I loved that dress and the hundreds of hours I spent playing in my mother’s and grandmother’s beautiful old clothes and I bought it. The lady at the store gave me $10 off. Happy birthday to me.

Then, I went to the vintage clothing store where I have frequently window shopped but never entered. I decided that for the last day of my thirties, I’d like to play dress up too. I tried on a dress from the 40s, one from the 50s, two from the 60s. Those dresses were made for women’s bodies. Not for girls bodies and not for hungry people. For women. I felt so feminine and sexy in those dresses. They ranged in price from $200 (40s) to $30 (60s). I bought 3 dresses for just about $100. I want to wear them every day (on the days i am not wearing my one pair of jeans and no-longer-holey t-shirts). I may never buy another non-vintage dress again. I don’t understand – we know how to make dresses that make a woman’s body look beautiful, why don’t we make more of them? I guess I just don’t get ‘fashion’ that much.

I had a BLT for lunch for the last day of my thirties. It was incredibly satisfying. I am trying to eat less meat, and to eat meat only from sources that I know are humane and sustainable, but that BLT made my heart sing. Food is delicious when you pay attention.

I sat outside on my deck for the first time ever (I have lived in this house for almost a year now) and drank a cup of tea. It was peaceful and beautiful. I wrote an email to my first ‘true love’. I had had that as a ‘to do’ in the back of my mind since he wrote me a note six years ago after my dog/soul mate went to doggie heaven. Writing the email took 5 minutes. Again, I felt, not sure what but definitely something.

I took my daughter to ballet. She is still learning to listen so I struggled a bit with my response to her behavior. I felt frustrated and angry and I knew that I shouldn’t. She’s 4. I was tired and hungry and thirsty. We went to the grocery store. I tried to get back into a good frame of mind. It was challenging.

We came home and made tacos. I have never made tacos in my own home as an adult. We had an amazing dinner. The kids loved putting their own toppings on, we had great conversation, everyone was hungry and happy and then we had my favorite ice cream (hubby had bought it as a birthday treat and suggested we have it early). We were happy.

My first love wrote me back. More feelings. It has since been overanalyzed but all in all a very healthy exchange and I feel like I understand myself better as a result and what I want more of in my 40s, but I’ll write about that later!

I cleaned the toilets, changed all the sheets (as a birthday present to myself), baked a birthday cake (chocolate soufflé cake), finished the last items of my inbox (more on that in the final 40 till 40 rundown) and crashed in bed around 11.

When i woke up I was 40.

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