The Big 40
Gosh, 40 years old today.
This is one of those milestone birthdays, I guess, where you take stock because you’re halfway through your life journey and all that. Personally, I’d like to think I’m not halfway there yet. I plan to be around, having adventures, and giving Sid trouble well into my 90s. But, you know, 40 still feels like a big one.
40 also seems sort of impossible. I mean, I remember my parents being 40 and somehow in my mind this is their permanent age. Like it’s the defining age of a parent. Which I suppose is ironic, as I’m without offspring at 40. So if I’m not a parent at 40, what is 40 supposed to mean?
I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Probably nothing.
Sometimes I feel like I’m way behind. I mean, where am I in life? I teach part-time and do some writing and travel and don’t have kids. And I’m 40! What have I “accomplished” (you know, other than being happy). Maybe a better way to put it is: what’s my purpose in life?
Other times (most of the time) I feel like I’ve pulled a fast one on all sorts of life expectations. After all, I’m 40 and I live in a fabulous apartment in the greatest city on earth. I have a loving family and wonderful friends. I travel to all sorts of awesome places with my handsome, brilliant husband with whom I have a true partnership. I only have to work part time (and at a job I really like) and I spend the rest of the time dreaming up stories. I don’t have the joys of children, but neither do I have the obligations of children. I have a lot of freedom to do things I enjoy and that give me pleasure. That’s quite a luxury.
So, I suppose there are two sides to everything.
Even so, turning 40 makes me feel like I’ve got to get a move on. Especially with my writing. I’ve been at it since 2009 and I’m starting to have some success selling short stories and I can see how much I’ve improved. But I want to sell a novel. It’s time. So maybe 40 is a little bit of a kick in the pants to put extra fuel on the motivation fire. Maybe that’s my purpose.
Either way, I hope to have 40(+) more years to work on it.