Argh. My 30s are over. This is something I've been obsessing/stressing/complaining about for some time now, with the obvious result being "time waits for no man - or woman." So here I am. 40. The big Four-Oh. A new check box, and if memory serves me, my max heart rate during cardio gets to be lower now. Whatever, like I'm not still going to kill it at the gym. Because I can. Which is a story in and of itself, and another post.
This song came out in 1999. Technically, it isn't part of my 30s, but it's one of those autobiographical diary nostalgia songs that reminds me of all things good. I was still living in Houston and was largely invincible. You know how that is. A good job and a little disposable income tends to turn health care professionals into drinky party freaks (and I laugh as I think that this blog links to Facebook and as such may be read by some of my fellow drinky party freaks from the late 1990s, you know who you are, you parked illegally in Rice Village to go to the Gingerman like the rest of us and hit up Solero and the Jones Bar and U-Gropa (ahem, Club Uropa) so go on and let's have a moment of silence for our collective lost youth, I can wait), and I have plenty of stories to tell. Good times, my friends. Good times.
But I digress.
Closing Time came on my iPod today while I was in the car and I started thinking about how much things have changed since the days I blasted Semisonic in the car, Saturday afternoons shopping with my best friend, sitting on her front porch with a bottle of wine...somehow, more was crammed into these past 10 years than in the previous 3 decades.
I met my husband. Yes, at work. Yes, he is one of those people I invited to wax nostalgic with me earlier. We don't tend to marry outside the family. No one else gets the jokes. I think attorneys do the same thing. No, I couldn't pronounce his name properly at first, and in fact, refused to try. I remember just shoving a chart in his face and informing him I needed a note signed. He complied, and that was probably the beginning of a lifetime of me informing him things need to be done. LOL? From him, I've learned the value of prudency, of constancy, of steadfastness.
I left the city I thought I'd spend my life in, and followed The Man to Florida. A state I never thought I'd set foot in. So far, we're doing allright.
We got married and had Turkis Maximus. Possibly the most astounding thing I've ever done, and absolutely worth me no longer using that Master's degree I worked so hard to earn. From him, I've learned the joys of unconditional love, the beauty of those first-light moments wrapped in blankets, and the joy of sharing the way a child laughs with abandon and hugs with his whole body and loves with his whole spirit.
I've been on locked units and struggled mightily to maintain some semblance of sanity and a reasonable adult human weight. This remains some days more successful than others. On the whole, I try. From this, I've learned that I need not worry what others are thinking of me, mostly because they aren't. That beauty isn't about what's on the pages of a magazine. That we are all beautiful in our own right.
I stood with my hero as he took his last breath. From him, I learned more about bravery and selflessness and integrity and the brevity of life than I realized I needed to know. I experienced a grief that knocked me to my knees, and I am only now beginning to stand upright again, coherently.
I've watched my Mom struggle to navigate the ice-cold waters of widowhood. From her, I've learned - again - how a strong woman stands on her own, and how the bend is more advantageous than the complete break.
I've learned that - to paraphrase one of my favorite Pinterest pins - everything I've experienced in my life has brought me to the now, and that now is right on time. Goodbye, 30s. Forty is right on time.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.