My best friend and I parted ways at Sea-Tac airport last month with ideas to do something again in the fall of 2014 so I was surprised when she sent a message asking what kind of plans I have for our birthdays (hers is at the end of November and mine is at the end of December).
I messaged her back saying I wasn't sure this far ahead of the date, but I wondered why she was asking. She told me that this was a big one for me and she wanted to come celebrate.
It hit me then, even though I've been talking about it for a while and joking about it even longer, that I am turning 40.
Suddenly, I didn't feel right anymore.
What am I supposed to think about this? I've always said age wasn't a big deal, but I am way behind on things I want to accomplish.
I haven't entered one of my paintings in the Caladium Festival. I haven't finished my book that I have been working on. I haven't lost the 40 pounds I promised to get rid of 12 years ago. I haven't paid off all that debt I wanted to pay and, consequently, I haven't gone to Bora Bora.
I know, I shouldn't focus on the incomplete projects because not many people even get to the end of their lives thinking they have done all they wanted, but I might want to check off a few of those items.
I did go to school. That in itself was a major distraction and one I want to progress further in. I also have a wonderful husband, Chris, and I cherish our life together with our children. I have incredible friends who make me laugh and an unusual, but loving family.
There is a picture on our dresser from when Chris and I were still dating about 20 years ago. We were at the Highlands County Fair and had our photo taken in one of those staged areas where they dress you up like you are from the Wild West. I looked like a saucy harlot and he looked like a gun-slinging cowboy. We were so adorable and so skinny.
If I could travel back in time, I think I've said before, I'd have a few words to say to that young lady. I'd tell her to apply herself and she'd roll her eyes. I'd tell her to never get a credit card and she would do it anyway because someone told her not to. I'd tell her to use sunblock and she'd laugh and lounge at the lake on her days off with her friend, Veronica. I'd tell her to lay off the sausage McMuffins while she is pregnant with her firstborn and she'd eat them thinking she could walk them off later in the miserable Washington rain.
Mostly, I'd want her to know that, even though she could not envision a future for herself, there will in fact be one and she could be ready or completely caught off guard.
I'd also tell her to enjoy her hair; flaunt it, let it grow, put it in pony tails, and pay people to professionally arrange it in fancy dos because that was one thing that wasn't going to last.
Cozette and I talked for a while. I guess arrangements will be made and I will be having a birthday bash somewhere. Now if I can lose about 40 pounds by then, I'll be looking good.