The Tovsky Tribe

Chocolates, Cocktails, Friends, Babies...A Girl Should Never Have Just ONE!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This is MY 40!

A decade ago I celebrated my 30th birthday at the Four Seasons hotel eating fine food, drinking champagne, enjoying chocolate dipped strawberries, and celebrating with the favorite guy in my life.  I had a great time and wondered, as I was struggling to get pregnant, if I would ever have children to help me blow out my candles.

Me at 30!

April 29, 2005

Now, it is ten years later, and my how things have changed.  I no longer can afford a night in such a hotel, nor would I choose to spend my money on something so lavish, and I now have a small army of favorite guys in my life since we've added 4 sons!  4? In my days of infertility I certainly would not have predicted this.

40!  This is 40!  This is MY 40!  Turning 40 means so many things while simultaneously meaning very little.  For one, I am apparently in some club now.  I was never one for clubs, and this "club" that people keep referring to is really no different.  Yet, people keep welcoming me to it.  I am not sure if the proper response to such a welcome is "thanks?!"  Second, no matter how many times you say age is just a number, which it is, there's no denying 40 is a middle aged number, another 40 years is hopeful.  Middle-aged.  It just sounds old.  And, odd.  What is also odd is that I can now refer to things that have happened 20, even 30, years ago with vivid memory.  How can I be old enough to have a 20 year old memory???  40 is also a new check box in age groups, and finding 1975 in the list of birth years in an online survey takes a lot of scrolling.  And, yay!, 40 also means yearly mammograms, which is preventative and wise and, well, ouch!

When I was 20 I didn't think much about what my life would be like when I was 40 so I can't tell you if this is what I imagined, though I can probably guess I didn't think 40 would involve an infant.  An infant alongsde a mini-van.  And, a muffin top.  Sigh.

I see Facebook posts of all of my former classmates, each turning 40 sometime this year, and every time I think, "Oh my goodness, that person is 40?!"  Somehow, I exclude myself from this group of aged folks knowing I was born the very same year they were.  But, they can't be 40.  And, certainly I can't be either.

I remember when my parents were 40.  If they are 40, then I can't be  older than 18?  The age of 40 sounds as if I am supposed to retire my hoodies and my sneakers for some sort of sweater and flat shoe. And, I shouldn't want to sing songs by One Direction or Bruno Mars at the top of my lungs.  But, I won't retire my hoodies, no way.  You'll see me in one tomorrow, I am sure.  I won't throw away my sneakers.  And, I can't stop singing "What Makes you Beautiful" though I would be doing a lot of people a big favor if I just stopped singing in general.

Mostly, I do think age is just a number and I am aware that today is not so different from yesterday, or even last year.  I am not upset to be turning 40, though I do like to joke. In fact, I will take 40 over not aging at all. It is just that 40 is weird.  Weird to say.  Weird to be. I am sure it is just a coincidence that I have a tooth that needs to be pulled and that I am seeing the occasional gray, straggly hair. 

True, when I get into bed each night, the way my bones and joints crack, it sounds as if I am laying on a mattress of bubble wrap. I am sure this is also a coincidence and has nothing to do with age. Just like it's a coincidence that most nights I doze off of on the couch during my favorite show and I choose sweats and a bottle of wine on my sofa over a night on the town.

But, what isn't a coincidence, what has EVERYTHING to do with age, is the dose of self-assurance that comes with being 40.  An aplomb I never had before, a comfort in my own skin, and the lack of a need to be anything other than me.  The insecurity of my childhood, the self-doubt of my 20's, has no room in the ego of my middle-aged mind.  Maybe because this middle-aged brain can't store as much, and certainly can't remember things like it used to.  Whatever the reason, some of those uncertainities didn't make the cut into this new decade.  And, as I age, my sense of humor remains in tact and laughter is still the very best medicine.

I don't know what 40 is for everyone, I can only tell you what it is for me.  And, 40 is just another day, another year, another birthday.   Sure, things have changed from my former life 2 decades ago, but they are gradual changes that happen over time.  There are many days where I still feel like a 20 year old, wandering free.  There are days where I feel well beyond these 40 years.  There are days I can channel my 20 year old self and feel, even momentarily, that carefree way.  And, there are days where I think fast forward was hit and I am stuck at 50.  But, the average day, I am just me.  Slightly flighty, mostly kind, sometimes crabby, usually laid-back, many times funny, generally positive, sporadically stressed, often tired, ME.
10 years later

And, with Alex!  Always a part of our special occasions

Past birthdays have been spent in the Caribbean, celebrated by a royal wedding, and partying with friends.  This milestone birthday has been long, with a mild but enjoyable celebration each week for many weeks. The actual day was the first beautiful day of the spring, spent at my favorite restaurant with Todd and Decker and then, appropriately so, on the ball field that night cheering on Chase and Ryder in my favorite sport. It was capped with ice cream from Goodnoes where we sang happy birthday on a flameless candle because we forgot to bring matches.   Somehow, at 40, this is totally acceptable.
flameless candle

Me and all of my guys


No comments: