Getting Older

Posted on | March 28, 2018 | No Comments

The thing about being forty is this:

I don’t feel forty.

Let’s face it, when we were kids and thought about the future, forty was OLD. Like full on decrepit old. By 40 there were going to be flying cars and robot butlers and we would all be living life Jetson-style in our circular glass apartments. Forty was what we’d turn when we were established in our careers as astronauts or famous authors or whatever else… with our 2.5 kids in their pre-teen years. No one told me forty could be like this… with a one year old and an eight year old and a rickety old house with windows that let in all the cold or warmth from outside. No one told me forty was  starting over at work, starting over at marriage, starting over at being… well… me.

When I look at my life and where I am in it, I feel thirty at the most. Thirty seems a reasonable age to have a one year old and to consider more kids. Thirty seems reasonable because then my parents are in their fifties, not their sixties and I have ten years to get to that magical forty number where I’m well-established and legit. But being forty and feeling so … wayward… is strange. I don’t feel established. I don’t feel legit. I don’t feel as though I have the gravitas to tell anyone anything about life or love or how to be a lawyer. I don’t feel that I’m qualified to speak on motherhood or careers or hell, anything! So how did I get here?

Age is such a funny thing, really, isn’t it?

Forty seems so much younger than it did when I was a child. Sixty seems so much younger than it did when I was a child. I feel less like I’m middle-aged and more like I’m still coming into myself, still learning and growing and reaching towards the top of the hill. Certainly not OVER the hill.

And yet… forty.

They say that age is just a number but that’s only true when your number is over thirty. Below thirty and age feels relevant… crucial even. And then you turn 31 and suddenly it’s just a number. Just an arbitrary categorization you mark on an information sheet. Just one more box over to the right, nothing to see here, thank you very much. And then one crazy day you turn 40 and you’re marking that next box over… the one so much closer to 60… while juggling a bottle and a baby and wondering to yourself “How in the hell did I get here?” Or maybe “Am I here?” And then your body starts doing strange things that it didn’t used to do and suddenly you’re just… older. Everywhere.

But I don’t know… even with all the aches and pains, I’ve been forty for nearly four months and it still doesn’t feel real.

Maybe it’s the baby.

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