In a little over three weeks I’ll turn FORTY-NINE years old.
What. The. Fuck.
I remember in my teens thinking 35 was old. And by 50 you were soaking your teeth in a glass nightly and relieving yourself into Depends Undergarments more often than not. Then I turned twenty and thought, “Okay… maybe 45 is old? Either way, I’ve got plenty of time.”
Then came my thirties, with divorce/remarriage/children in school/new baby on the way, and I didn’t have time to dwell on trivial things like when youth fades and old age sets in.
So far in my forties, it’s been a game of “I’m still in my early-late forties, surely I don’t need to worry about the dreaded 5-0(shit) just yet?” But somehow all the same, here we are — and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.
Here are ten things I thought I’d have accomplished by now:
- Successfully meditating (I usually just fall asleep)
- Finding ways around ending sentences with prepositions (see above)
- Having my shit together juuust enough so I don’t feel inferior to perfect PTA mom types
- Curbing my enthusiasm for mocking perfect PTA mom types
- Finally giving up on convincing myself I like sushi
- Writing my first (last, only?) novel
- Learning to play the piano/wolf whistle/french braid hair/evenly apply winged eyeliner
- Finally believing I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me
- Learning to sip red wine without making a cringy-face (seriously– it’s nasty)
- Being smarter/better/kinder/tougher/less assy/more badassy/cautious/fearless/cautiously fearless
**as a bonus for Jim I’ll throw in ‘being more fiscally responsible’ (sorry, hunny)**
So here I sit on the razor’s edge of my 49th birthday, which technically means I’ll be starting my fiftieth year; officially a quinquagenarian. [kwing-kwuh-juh–nair-ee-uh n] (⇐⇐ you’re welcome)
Where do I go from here? What meaning or comfort am I meant to find in the aging process? Because I feel like it *should* mean something – there has to be some sort of karmic take away, right? I keep thinking that, by fifty, I’m supposed to be an arbiter of wisdom and enlightenment. Instead, I feel inept and, what’s the opposite of enlightened… befuddled, maybe?
And old. Mostly I just feel old.