this is 40


Hello. I’m 40 now. I understand that happens to a person who manages to stay alive this long, and it’s no special accomplishment on my part, but here I am just the same. Am I middle aged now, or do I get to hold that off until I’m 50? I’m not sure, but I do find that I care way more about moisturizer now than I ever did before. Also my shoulder hurts all the time now and I start getting tired at 3 p.m., so I guess, whether I am at the beginning of middle age or the end of my youth, I am either way acutely aware of the fact that I am now on the path to having nothing to talk about besides my ailments.

My 30s were okay, as far as decades of my life go. They were way better than my 20s (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much), and when I look back through my mental highlight reel, overall, I can give it all a nod of approval. I have a career in healthcare IT now, which I never saw coming, but regardless, I’m a multi-certified code-writing ninja. I have been to a fair number of canyons, including the Grand one, the grandest canyon in all the land, where I got engaged to the man who is now my husband. (I don’t recommend planning a wedding, because it is awful, though I will say that if you’re going to plan a wedding, you can live through it if both of you are good at project management.) He is a keeper with cute dimples and he makes me laugh every day, even though sometimes it is grudgingly. I’ve had a few surgeries, and one cancer scare that — thank goodness — didn’t turn out to be cancer. My dad died, my grandma died, and my dog soulmate Sweet Pea died, and I still miss all of them. I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife, at least not in the Sunday School sense that I was raised with, but even though I’m on the fence about wanting one for myself, I sort of hope there is one for them.

I changed my hair a lot, but I think we’re finally in a good place. For anyone who might read this who has internet-known me for awhile — I don’t think I can even say it’s a raging communist anymore, at least not most of the time. I’m lactose intolerant now, which is SUCH A BUMMER. Sigh. My personal email is all sales ads and calendar appointments, which I’m fairly neutral about, to be honest. I’ve climbed a couple of mountains, gone on some insanely difficult hikes, and kayaked in a couple of Great Lakes. I like camping now! Who would’ve thought?

Anyway, those aren’t all the highlights and definitely not all the lowlights (I completely left out adventures in puking in cars), but they’re something. I’m rusty at writing here, or anywhere, for that matter. Life is not what I expected it would be at this age, but then, I think that is always true, no matter what year I’m writing in. This past year especially has surprised me with how many times I have realized I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, and I really thought I’d know more by now. But the older I get, the more I realize that I don’t think anybody really knows, because no matter what, there’s always a heaping dose of what the fuck am I supposed to do with that? waiting up ahead. I mean, I daydream about dishwashers now, so I’m not the same person I was even a year ago.

I guess I’m on my way toward getting old now, which seems weird, but life is weird, and I’m just going to keep on living it.