I am having some birthday-related feelings lately. I will turn forty in just over a month (a week before that, the twins will turn two) and I’m not completely sure I am ready to think of myself as a forty-year-old yet. I loved thirty as a milestone birthday — turning thirty was fun and exciting and I was ready to step forward into that decade. It was great. I had just finished my PhD and started my job and met a bunch of great new colleagues and friends and life seemed like the perfect blend of being settled in, yet also being full of possibility.
Ten years later, I am still at the same job where I’m doing well. I met my husband at this job and we got married bought a house and had kids and got promotions. A lot of the new friends I made early on have moved away and I don’t socialize as much and the sense of possibility has mainly been replaced by a tight schedule and a lot of responsibility. I don’t say that in order to imply that responsibilities are a bad thing — on the contrary: I welcome them — but rather to say that life has a very different feel to it now than it did then.
I also feel that the older I get the less likely it is that we will have any more kids. There’s a lot more to the kid question than that, of course (finances, fertility, the fact that it’s a two-person decision), but that thought is lurking in the background of any other thoughts about aging or my birthday or being 40. And, let’s be real, if we don’t ever have any more kids, the main problem is that it will mean I won’t get to have my spite baby. (A “spite baby” is the baby that you have to spite all the people who told you you were or should be “done” after a certain number or gender combination of children, e.g. after they find out you are pregnant with boy-girl twins and they say, “Oh, how great, now you’re done after this!”) I am the kind of person (and I say this without pride) who really likes to do things just to spite the people who thought they knew something about me, so, you know, it’s a particularly bitter pill to swallow.
Fine, let’s do this. Let’s have an airing of grievances. Other things I don’t like about the thought of turning 40:
- I am getting a turkey neck
- My skin looks not great
- It is harder to manage my weight
- It is easier to get injured
- I have not adequately planned for retirement
- Do people think I am my kids’ grandmother?
- Most people don’t ask for my ID anymore when buying wine
- Small amounts of alcohol make me more hungover than they should
- Not sure I should be wearing some of the fashions I like
- Don’t want to invest money in fancy skincare
- Don’t want to invest money in anything (unless it’s a good pair of boots)
- Am supposed to be going to yin yoga more than vinyasa yoga now but I like vinyasa yoga better
- Are my feet getting wider?
Please feel free to participate so I’m not just yelling at a cloud over here, thanks.