I'm not sure why people lament, whine, carry on and fuss about turning 40. I did it last Tuesday and it didn't hurt a bit. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I felt just as normal as I had the day before. When I woke up, there was no black storm cloud hovering above my head. I wasn't struck with any major/minor medical concern -- except for excessive peeing, which goes with the territory these days anyway. Nope. Nothing. Not even an extra gray hair.
I was treated to a fabulous homemade breakfast at the hands of WH (that's "wonderful husband") which consisted of french toast stuffed with a truly decadent cream cheese filling and a nice cup of Starbuck's coffee. (Which isn't out of the ordinary, being that's all we buy,... but it felt extra special paired with the french toast.) I went to work and found a balloon bouquet on my desk from co-workers, and not one of the balloons mentioned "40." How thoughtful. I enjoyed the group card and a fruit tort from Fresh Market. This little number is worth waiting all year for. The graham cracker-ish crust is filled with lots of thick, sweet cream and topped with mammoth berries: strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, kiwi, etc. Oh, and between the crust and cream is an ever-so-slight layer of chocolate sauce. Because, as we all know, most everything is better with even a hint of chocolate. :)
That afternoon when I came home, Jeff had baked a cake, and was scurrying about finishing up last-minute details for dinner and such. At one point, I was banished to the bedroom while he attended to things in the kitchen. I usually never seize an opportunity to lay down for a while, but that's exactly what I did. I could've gathered the never-ending supply of dirty laundry from everyone's rooms of stopped by the bathroom to tidy up -- but I didn't. I took a whole hour and watched something mindless on television ("Bridezillas," one of the current guilty pleasures...) and just did nothing. That was probably the best gift I could have given myself. Ever. However, as lovely as that gift was, it paled in comparison to what Jeff gave me: an 8x10 black and white photo of all the kids. It nearly brought me to tears -- partially because of how wonderful it was, and how great everyone looked... and because I know how difficult it must've been to take umpteen-million photos before getting just one where everyone was smiling, no one's eyes were closed and no one was given bunny ears.
The rest of the evening was just as wonderful as the entire day. And for that kind of day, I'd turn 40 all over again next year. But I won't. I won't be one of those people who keep celebrating a "39th" birthday so they don't have to admit getting another year older. I am perfectly OK with being 40, because it feels great. For years, my mom has never seemed to give a second thought to the actual number of her age. "It's just a number," she says, "and I certainly don't feel that old."
Thankfully, this apple didn't fall far from the tree. Come on, 41,... bring it on.