forty three

The current state of my face.

When I was a small child, I remember being in the grocery store with my mom and delightedly telling a complete stranger that my mom was 43 years old, for no reason other than it was a fact that I had recently learned, and I did enjoy sharing facts with strangers. (In this way, I am pretty much exactly the same as I was when I was little, except for being taller and having more gray hair.) I believe this was after the phase when my older cousin who sometimes babysat me had a friend who taught me all the words to “Purple Rain” and I would sing it to anyone who would listen. Also in the grocery store, because that was apparently my favorite spot to entertain people.

(This isn’t true. Anyplace was my favorite place to entertain people because I was a dramatic child, in the highly-performative-definitely-should’ve-taken-tap-dancing-lessons sense of the word.)

At the time, I am pretty sure I believed that 43 was absolutely ancient, because to a small child, it really is, but now I’m here and I still have impostor syndrome about adulthood, like, maybe if I just keep quiet enough about it, nobody will realize that I don’t know what I’m doing, but also I somehow have a mortgage! Ha ha I fooled somebody, or, I don’t know, maybe with that one the joke’s on me and I should come up with another example.

Anyway, I am not ancient yet, and instead am at the age where I have both zits and wrinkles and skincare is just a delight. I think though that I am at the age where I should start considering what type of crone I want to be when I do finally get there. I’m not exactly sure, and I still have some time to decide, but I do hope that it involves befriending the neighborhood crows.

I often do a year in review when I write these things, but there isn’t a whole lot to review. I still don’t leave the house a lot of the time. Did some camping, twice specifically during a new moon to be able to take photos of the Milky Way in some places with genuinely dark skies, and both times had unseasonably cold weather with lots of clouds, so thanks, that was awesome. Took my dog on one of the trips — it was the first time I thought he was grown up enough to handle camping and he did not seem to like it much, but it could’ve just been because we were all freezing.

He did really enjoy running around on the shore of Lake Superior, and also trying to jump into the Two Hearted River (here, at the mouth). All of my pictures from this trip are technically terrible, but I did enjoy this goofball’s enthusiasm for the water, especially since in the past he’s been a little freaked out by the Great Lakes, but at the greatest of all of them, he was ready to party. That’s my boy.

Mostly, in the recap of this year, I can find hiking:

On the way to Big Sable Point. The dog did not like Lake Michigan, nor did he like ice. I personally love Lake Michigan, but regarding ice: same, dog. Same.
I am very glad the spider or spiders responsible for this didn’t come out when I took this. Anyway, we climbed Mount Nebo again.
One of the kiddos chose this place to hike last summer, then everyone got sick and we didn’t go last summer, so we went this summer. I liked the park, except for how everything was port-a-johns instead of actual toilets — wtf, Illinois — anyway, you can’t tell from this but man those trails were crowded.

Other than that, I got promoted at work. I still don’t have to go back to the office, so I’m not going to do that. I still miss lunches out. I do get tired of going to my kitchen for lunch. But it turns out that is really the only thing I miss about having a job outside of my home, and I don’t miss it enough to go back to an office. Offices are a scam.

Like all middle-aged people, I also play Wordle now. (Currently on a 198-day streak, but I probably just jinxed myself.) I have a lot of houseplants, but I have even more yard plants and I am deeply not exciting. I have concert tickets for a show in November (The Smile) — the last show I went to was three Novembers ago (Wilco) and maybe someday I will be interesting again, but maybe being in my 40s means not being interesting anymore, I’m not sure. A few months ago I ran into my (very very unrequited) high school crush — we hadn’t seen each other since the 90s and the only thing that happened was we made polite small talk for less than five minutes. It was deeply un-cinematic in every possible way, which, as it happens, is completely fine, but still, yawn, etc.

Tonight the youngest kiddo helped me assemble my birthday cake for dessert tomorrow night — the same kiddo who, a few weeks ago said “That was a really long time ago” when we heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and I said “This song came out when I was your age” — and even though we weren’t in the grocery store, it all goes full circle, doesn’t it?

4 thoughts on “forty three

  1. 43 ain’t so bad, and you certainly don’t look it! Take it from 62 and a half, it gets more perplexing, but you sort of relax into it. And you’re never too old for weird grocery store expositions. In fact, as you get older, the weirder you can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderfully beautiful post. It’s so nice you’re still here and a very Happy Birthday to you! I know that imposter thing all to well, I always thought growing up there would be some clear demarcation line I would cross and magically I would arrive at… ADULTHOOD! That never seemed to happen so here I am winding my way down the bell curve of life knowing full well there is less ahead than behind and still feeling not that different. Well, maybe I should qualify that… maybe it’s that you get a little more comfortable in your skin as time goes on which is good but while you want that low mileage body you don’t want to go through the whole process of breaking in the motor all over again.

    Oh, by the way… your not really old. You see it’s just perspective and to me as someone who is older you’re still very much a baby. I talked to a friend the other day and I realized how rigid we get as time passes and how important it is to maintain our empathy so that’s what I’m on a journey to rediscover now. Looking forward to hearing from you well before 44 arrives!

    Liked by 2 people

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