Thoughts on Turning 40

I’m not turning 40 this year. But my husband is. And my sister is. And in three short years, I will be. This got me thinking. Well, lots of things got me thinking, but we’ll get to those later. I thought I would start with the conclusion. Am I living the life I want to live at 40? The short answer: No. Not to get all Oprah on you, but am I living my best life? No way.

This didn’t start out as birthday introspection, but as a conversation about a car. Those happen a lot in our house. My husband was thinking about getting a new car for his birthday. A car that we could afford, but would be a stretch. A car we didn’t need now, but was at a good price at a local dealership and as a car person it was on his bucket list of cars he would like to own someday. Me, I’m the furthest thing from a car person, so the best way to get the car would be to trade in my wagon and I would drive his truck. Fine with me, but I wanted to drive it for a week first to make sure it wasn’t too hard to get the toddler in and out of it. Suddenly, my husband no longer was even considering the car. When I asked why, he said it was a fun car and he didn’t have fun anymore.

Initially, I was insulted and taken aback. Then I realized it was true. And I was bummed.

What happened to me? I have no idea. I don’t even remember what I did for fun in the past. It isn’t even a post-baby thing. We haven’t had fun in a long time. Not since my mom died and my husband switched jobs. Sure, we’ve had moments of fun and trips that were fun, but we don’t make it a point to go have fun anymore. And I don’t have fun anymore. Hardly ever. Unless it is watching Spencer have fun and then it is marginal. In fact, I might be miserable.

This isn’t one bit about my husband or our marriage, by the way. I’ve just fallen in a complacent trap of self-loathing that is so easy to slip into and so very hard to get out of. I’m in a pit, a deep pit of rage and hate. If there is such a thing as late-onset post partum depression, I have it. I have also diagnosed myself with breastfeeding PTSD. And then I realized that I am myself from 2001, just older. And I will end this funk like I ended that one. Shockingly enough, not by retail therapy, but by the systimatic application of cheer to all areas of my life and a little self improvement.

Since my resolutions were a bust, I lost interest and wandered off. I thought I would try something more simple. I’m going to continue on with my weight-loss project and then pick two thinks that bug me per month and try and fix them. If it seems overly systematic, finding solutions to problems used to be my job…

This July, I’m going to tackle to random, but annoying things: my hair and the pantry. My hair is ridiculous; it’s long and scraggly and always in a ponytail. I went weeks with out brushing it. I need to learn to do better things with my hair. In part, pinterest is giving me cute hair envy and in part I just need to figure out what to do with my hair at blogher. I don’t blow it dry, so if I put it up in the morning, it needs to come down and be party ready for the night, a tall order for any updo. I’m not sure how I will document yet, I’ll tweet a picture each day for sure and then maybe do periodic updates with anything cute. I’m bad at hair, especially bobby pins, so this should be entertaining to say the least.

Secondly, I need to do something about our pantry. My plan is to clean it out, spiff it up and spend less that $50. We call it a pantry, but it is actually a utility room with our washer/dryer, freezer, storage and a built in pantry. It is ugly as hell and full of crap.

If there is one thing I have learned from my weight-loss program, it’s that small steps matter. These two projects need to be done, will give me something to focus on and form the successes on which I will gain the confidence to do more. I can feel you all with your big sighs, rolling your eyes that a dramatic intro that sounded vaguely threatening and fairly ominous ended up being about my hair and flour canisters. Dude. That’s just how I roll.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on Turning 40”

  1. Suzanne says:

    I feel EXACTLY the same way about turning 30, about not having fun and about the RAGE. Even when I am doing things that should be fun, I am so worried about whether or not I am having ENOUGH fun to really enjoy it. How effed up is that?

    The pantry is SUCH a good project to make everything feel more organized. There’s just something about knowing exactly how many cans of tomato sauce you own that helps everything else feel more manageable.

    How about we both learn some fancy hair styles and we can literally braid each other’s hair at BlogHer? Leg hugs!


  2. TMae says:

    I saw the title of this post and it made me laugh. Nate came home from golfing the other day complaining about being sore; “I’m almost 40!” he complained. And I laughed, “Dude, you’ll be 36 in a month. You have years to 40.”

    A meat friend of mine and I are always talking about how we’re always cranky. “How’ve you been?” one of us will ask, and the other will inevitably reply, “Cranky, per usual.” And it’s not as if she or I have terrible lives. We’re just…ragey a lot. We’ve come to the conclusion that it might just be part of the human condition.

    Except that it’s not. And we’re just unable to redirect our lives to actually provide nice feelings instead of irritating ones.

    Okay, so – since I’ve hijacked your comment section – I think small projects are a great way to accomplish change. I think hair will most definitely make you feel better, I know it’s made me feel better. Umm…I thought I had a point with this comment, but I’m not sure I really did other than to say, I’m with ya, friend. You can do this!


  3. […] favorite post (of my own): Thoughts on Turning 40 (and the strawberries, of […]

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