Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fumbling Toward Forty

So, I am turning forty in five months. I'm not depressed about it; I feel, puzzled. Because despite increased forgetfulness, sagginess, softness (all right, perhaps I can't blame those last two merely on age), greyness, wrinkliness, and age-spottiness, I could swear I am 32 years old. I feel 32, both physically and in terms of hip-ness. I believe I will be 32 forever, inside. I am not in denial about growing older, but it's okay with me so far.

Turning 40 seems to deserve some sort of homage, however, so I am going to be devoting some blog posts to the approaching milestone.

Yesterday a forty-odd, hip, and also 32-years-old-inside colleague and I were discussing our acknowledgement that we are not in the "young teacher" classification at work anymore, despite somehow imagining we still are. Invite us to Happy Hour, young teachers, because we're game!

Except we have to pick up the kids from daycare. Dang it.

I am finding that floundering toward forty can be a great excuse to embrace what I know is ME, and to shed what I know is NOT. If my thirties were about solidifying personal style and philosophy and accepting the destiny I paved for myself, my forties are about purity and paring down: purging the Might-Have-Beens and committing to the Good Bets. For example, it's time to toss the Pilates videos in the media cabinet. Once upon a time, there was a certain optimism and potential that accompanied their presence in our home: I could , if I wanted, work out without leaving the house. Now there is the liberty of recognizing that while I may still take up Pilates someday, it will never be in my living room.

On the other hand, running shoes: Good Bet.

The lipstick brush in my medicine cabinet doesn't take up much space, but it pretends that I just might take the time to use a brush to apply lipstick. Maybe I did, once, in my twenties after reading Glamour magazine.

Tweezers, though? Good Bet.

Boxes of china I bought a decade ago when I aspired to a fancy dining scheme are headed to craigslist. We eat out of mismatched, homemade pottery, and we like it that way.

I'm ditching the questionably functional lingerie, too, and focusing on funky jewelry and shoes.
It's going to be Popeye decade, or life, henceforth: I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam!


Heather PC said...

I'm 27 inside, though today, as I drove past the Cornish College of the Arts and saw groups of students doing wacky whoknowswhat on the sidewalks, I was about 20 and wishing I could join them. But my body, with its colander head, dizziness, multiplying moles, and questionable hanging bits, is every inch of 42. On a side note: those red shoes in your linked post? Want, love, covet them.

Jared and Kate said...

I will go with the 32, since that leaves me at 24. :-) Sadly, running shoes and the Pilates video are BOTH might-have-beens for me. At least you have the running shoes in your corner. For me, a cupcake is a good bet.

Ms. F said...

In my head, you're 32 too. :)