Random equations in the mathematics of life

Posts tagged ‘Turning 40’

40 =/= 0

Sooooo I’m 40.  *crickets*  Yeah, that’s what I figured.  It was no big deal.  The world didn’t come screeching to a halt, my hair didn’t look any more grey than it normally does, small children did not turn tail in horror and fear.  I worked, I dealt with a situation with my car, and I went to dinner with my family, my mom, and my sister.  Pretty quiet all around, really.

I’m making good on my assertion that I need to be more true to myself.  The kids wanted to attend the first annual Pride Festival in Salisbury, and we had a blast.  But after posting some pics with some humorous commentary, I was met with some passive aggressive push-back.  The push-back doesn’t bother me in the least; I don’t expect my friends to always agree with me.  Variety is the spice of life, and I truly believe that with respect, even people who are diametrically opposed on some points can coexist without tension.  The passive aggressive thing just pissed me off, though.  So I posted this note to my Facebook friends, and sat back to see what happened.  Interestingly enough, I got several positive comments; some public, some private.  One person did “defriend” me, but I was truthful in the note: I didn’t miss the person, because I still haven’t figured out who it was.  Don’t really care enough to try, though.

I got a late start on SoFoBoMo, but I do think I’ll be fine to get it done.  The first shot will come tonight when I make these to bring down to Wilmington this weekend. (No sprinkles though; I don’t like the texture.)  We are going kayaking, to the beach, and then the Ranger and the Teacher are hosting a barbecue for us.  I can’t wait!  Alejandro is, of course, ecstatic.  He is hopinghopinghoping that we do indeed see the alligators that are quite possible to see.  I can’t blame him; I’d love to see them, too!  I would love to have a few shots of wildlife for my portfolio.

Speaking of…I joined 500px.  The idea is that you only post your pro level shots, and I like that.  I’m hoping to get some clear feedback from some pros and really hone my skills.  I like where my style is going, but I have by no means learned everything I should know.  A friend of mine in Texas, the Grandmother, mentioned that she’d love for her daughter, who is a budding shutterbug, to have me as a mentor if I was local.  I was stunned, to be honest.  I mean, I love to shoot with other people, share ideas and knowledge, but I have never thought of my abilities as good enough to mentor someone else.  It was a really cool compliment, and I appreciated it, but it’s making me take a hard look at my photos.  I still have a lot to learn.

16 days til I am back in the islands.  Every time I go down there, it gets harder and harder to come back here.  It feels like coming home, being at peace, smiling from my soul, and then having it taken away.  There are parts of my life here that I love, but I know that my home is there.  A little patience, and as many visits as I can afford will see me through until the time when I go home for good.  The Artist has actually shifted her life plan a bit to include the islands.  I have always respected my children’s paths, and when she started down hers with the intent of living in a big city, I will admit to wondering if that was what she truly wanted.  That isn’t meant in a condescending way at all; everyone shifts their path here and there in this life.  We start down a trail and realize it wasn’t quite right, and so we hop to another.  She made some remark yesterday about being afraid of “letting people down” if she dropped her double major and I told her she was quoting nearly verbatim, what her sister said last year.  So I explain to the Artist, as I did to the Professor, that what would “let me down” would be for them not to follow where their heart is truly leading.  Making adjustments is merely part of the process we go through.

The Scientist and I have settled into a peaceful coexistence.  We’re definitely not done with the repair work yet on the relationship, but we are currently in the midst of the longest span of time since September of 2009 in which we haven’t seen our therapist.  Should be interesting to see how it goes, and how we’re doing when we do get back in with her.  Our vacation schedules backed up to each other, and it just wound up that we couldn’t work out a time.  I am still a little wary, and am reserving judgment a bit, but we seem to be doing ok.

There’s a lot still swirling in my mind, and I’m not quite ready to put it here, but I just wanted to update and show the world that turning 40 isn’t the tragedy that people said it was.  =)

Approaching Infinity

So I’m turning 40.

In the societal realms, I’m supposed to be maudlin, wallowing in the fact that I, like every other living thing on the planet, am aging.  My debit card should be melting at the edges from being swiped so many times at the make-up counter, procuring anti-aging serum, eye cream, wrinkle reducing power plumper, and the myriad of products produced to further remind us that we are undeniably ugly.  My usual wardrobe is now to be accentuated by “slimming” and “shaping” garments to make sure that the outside world is exquisitely fooled into thinking that I truly do have the body of a fifteen year old girl.  Nowhere permitted, are the telltale marks from having carried, birthed, and breastfed three kids.  The softened curves of age are a curse!  Quick!  Hide them!

All at once, I am supposed to do everything in my power to look like a teenager, and yet, not appear as if I am trying to look like a teenager.  Because then, of course, I would look “pathetic” and “ridiculous.”  The Artist will not allow me to wear capris anymore, stating with grand eloquence that unless they hit at the exactly correct position on a woman’s leg, they make “your butt look wide and your legs look short!”  So my  wardrobe is now thinned even further.  Shorts that are too long are capris, and shorts that are too short are “trashy” or “slutty.”  Sometimes wearing a cami with a pair of jeans is “hot,” and with shorts can be “cute,” but other times, it just looks “wrong.”  Is it any wonder I’m completely confused?

Instead, let me share with you how I will be approaching my 40th birthday.  (Yes, I do have a few weeks left, as it isn’t until 07/05.)  First, the weekend of my actual birthday will be spent with my family.  If I could afford to bring the kids on the Big trip, I would do so in a heartbeat.  But unfortunately, it can’t happen.  So we are taking them to Niagara Falls to see the fireworks, and also will show them our “history” by showing them the apartment where the Scientist lived as a teen, our University, our first apartment and duplex, and other places we used to go.  I plan to bring them to the Anchor Bar so that they can have a real Buffalo chicken wing, from the originating kitchen.  We’ll also hang out with their first babysitter and our old friend, the Quiet Man.  And then later, at the end of the month, comes The Big Trip.

My original plan was to spend 10 days bumming around Morocco.  However, the idiocy that is our world governments (and yeah, I’m eyeing you too right now, USA) has put the kibosh on that idea.  So instead, I am resorting to my old standby, the islands.  Not that this is a bad thing, mind you — but there are other parts of the world I really want to see.  Unfortunately, budget, time, and stupid war games preclude those excursions for now.  So I’ll island hop for a week, and figure out that way where I then want to go spend a week later.  For example, Sint Maarten comes highly recommended from a few people whose opinion I trust.  I did ponder just going there for a week and being done with it.  But the explorer bug had already bitten, so I will spend the day there, and most likely it’ll hit the top of the Must Go Back List after I do.  The places I will be that week include: Puerto Rico, St Thomas and St John, Barbados, St Kitts, St Lucia, and Sint Maarten.  A perfect way to celebrate, if you ask me.

But I will mark this milestone in other ways, as well.  I am participating in SoFoBoMo this year.  My project will be about my life as a 40 yr old, and how I see myself.  It provides me with a bit of introspection along with a creative outlet.  I’m really looking forward to it, actually.

All three of my kids are now college students.  The Ambassador is done with school, and walks across the stage on Saturday morning.  Amazing thing, the passage of time.  He turned 16 last Friday, so he is now hitting a bunch of milestones himself.  He is handling them pretty well, not getting tripped up too much.  The morning that I dropped him off at school for the one final exam he was not allowed to be exempt from, I called his father.  The Scientist is quite excited that he will now get that half hour each way of undivided time with the Ambassador that I have had for the past five years.  I will definitely miss it, but as per usual, I am not weeping or misty like so many of my counterparts.  Maybe some gromet got tightened too far or something; I just don’t leak well.  Anyhow, I called him and said that I’d dropped the Ambassador at school, and then said, “Oh wow, I’m supposed to be upset, aren’t I?”  I then launched into a sobbing rendition of, “I just dropped my last baby off at school for the last time!” and then asked the Scientist to rate my performance.  After he recovered from choking on whatever he was drinking at the time, he said I did fine.  Good to know I can pull off normalcy when I need to!

As my life slowly materializes into something that is “mine,” I find that my biggest goal on turning 40 is to be more of myself.  I have hid, apologized for, and faked who I am for so long, in so many ways, on so many levels.  I’m at a point in my life where I’m just done with the pretense, done with worrying over what everyone else thinks, and I’m done making an effort that drains no one else but me.  I may well lose some friends in my life at this, but if I do, well, then not only is it their loss, but it’ll show me who was there for their own gains and who is in my life because of the relationship with me as a person.  But the bottom line is that I will no longer live in fear, and anyone who doesn’t like it can drive-thru and have a nice day.

So as usual, I’m not “normal.”  Big surprise, right?  I’m not hiding it, mourning it, forgetting it, resenting it, bitching about it, or living in shame of it.

I. Am. Turning. 40.

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