NORMAN — Pondering 40
It is January and the beginning of a new year. Most of us still have a Christmas hangover. Some of us are just now waking up from the sea of cookies, holiday meals and parties. We are just now realizing that not only did Santa leave us a great amount of presents, but also another five pounds.
Even though January promises a new start to a new year, the month also is one of the coldest. The weather is unpredictable. It seems as if the threats of snow and ice are always looming, and some days are just dark and dreary. It's the type of month that makes you long for March and April.
But for me, January means its birthday month. In fact, on New Year's Eve, as I was surrounded by friends and after the celebratory cheers, I had a sudden realization that as the ball dropped and a new year started I only had 28 days until I turned 40.
Up until now, I've had no trouble with turning 40, but as the clock ticks by faster and faster, I'm starting to realize that this is really going to happen. I'm really going to be 40-years-old.
I remember I was about 13 or 14 when I sat down in my small bedroom with a spiral notebook and a calculator. I tried to determine at what year I would be what age. Back then, the year 2000 seemed like something out of a movie. I also thought it seemed like a thousand years before 2014 would actually make it. And, back then, I also thought 40 was ancient.
Like 30, you really don't get a lot of sympathy for turning 40. No one is gong to hold me a parade or a telethon. Even though a telethon would be nice considering right now I take more medications and more vitamins than I've ever had to take in my entire life. Not to mention the special facial creams and make up. I spend the majority of my time and money these days remembering which pill to take or if that sore muscle should be heated or iced.
Every morning is a battle with getting everything to work together, too. I honestly don't remember ever getting up in the morning and it taking a good 10 minutes for my mind to tell my body that its time to get moving.
The hairs on my head turn gray a little faster these days and I've noticed that those old injuries as a youth are starting to haunt again. If you ever want a really accurate weather forecast, let me know. Chances are my left ankle will let you know if there is rain headed our way.
I've also noticed that the bag boys at the grocery store call me ma'am now and they always seem a bit upset that I don't accept their offers for carry out service.
As I reflect back on my 39 years, I'm amazed at what all has been thrown at me. I'm blessed to have had a loving, supportive family that has pushed me to excel. I never dreamed I'd go to college all those years ago when I was calculating my age. Going to college was something rare in my family, especially for women.
I never imaged owning a home and having a wonderful partner to share it with. I never thought I'd have a job that challenges me daily and one that gives me so much pride.
I'm an aunt to a beautiful 13 year old and the mother to two of the silliest dogs I think ever have existed. I've been blessed to always have the things I needed and the mind to dream about the things I want. I've had a great 39 years and I can only hope that the next 39 years are filled with even more joyous surprises and wonderful memories.
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