Forty. Forty. It's insane. I feel like I should still be at Townley Elementary School, in Mrs. Schober's fourth grade class, struggling through learning long division.
In theory, turning forty is not so much a big deal. I'm happy. I have a fabulous husband and two healthy boys who all love and adore me. I practice my art (acting, painting and sewing) fairly regularly, and I teach three amazing classes full of talented students.
The reality of forty is much more harsh. Several daunting things have happened since that fateful day. The first being that I got sick. I didn't get the flu, although what I did have knocked me right on my butt. I had the most banal of all illnesses, an upper respiratory infection. While at the doctor, I was expecting the diagnosis to be something along the lines of 'black plague - death imminent' and when he told me it was just a glorified cold, I was astounded.
Me. Really? An Upper Respiratory Infection? That's all?
Dr. W. Yep.
Me. It feels like a whole lot more than that.
Dr. W. Well, Carrie, you're getting older. It happens.
Me. (glares at Doctor, Doctor laughs.)
I'm still coughing a little, five weeks later. I think that falls under the category of Not Quite Right. So when I die and the autopsy report shows, "Black Plague,' please spread the word that I knew it all along.
Everyone who reads this. She knew, y'all. She called Black Plague back in January.
The second thing that has propelled me into the reality that I'm approaching aged is what occurred when I went to the eye doctor. My eye doc is a funny little man who looks like a hobbit librarian, but actually rides a Harley Davidson on the weekend. And he ALWAYS tells it just like it is. I really hadn't been able to see clearly in a few months, so I scheduled my appointment and went in. Usually, I'd sit in the chair, read from the chart, he'd flip those lens thingys a few times, and I was outta there. This time, he flipped and flipped and flipped and flipped and it took (said like Squints from The Sandlot) FOREVER.
Me. I don't remember it ever taking this long to get my eyes to focus.
Dr. B. You've never been forty before.
Me. (glares at doc, doc laughs)
Dr. B. I told you this would happen. Age 40-43, happens to just about everyone.
Me. Yes, you've been the harbinger of doom for some time. I just didn't think it would happen to me.
Dr. B. (laughs heartily) You have Emerging Presbyopia.
Me. (glares again)
Dr. B. (laughs harder) Wait 'til it turns into full-fledged Presbyopia. That's when the fun really starts.
He prescribed BIFOCAL CONTACTS. WHAT?! It's a good thing I like that guy. I would have kicked him the the little Hobbit librarian shins if I didn't. In other news, I can really see well. Amazing.
The last thing that makes me want to claw my way out of the pit of forty, is that soon... very, very soon, I will have a teenager.
A TEENAGER. When the crap did THAT happen?
It's not cool. And I've told Ethan that if he doesn't behave himself, I'm just not going to allow him to turn thirteen. (He was FIVE when I started this blog, btw.)
That threat worked a whole lot better when he was five. I could get him to toe the line for a whole month before his birthday by telling him I was going to allow him to get any older. Now he just smiles, kisses me on the cheek and says, "Okay, Mom. Yes, ma'am."
I'm still taller than he is. I've still got that.
And I have lots of pairs of three, four and five inch heels. He's going to have to work at it to be taller than me, by golly. It was just last week that I was telling him to, 'Be soft with the dog. Be soft with the baby."
I wonder if telling him to be soft with Aaron now would garner the same results?
These three things aside, turning forty hast been all bad. I'm part of a new club now, and the members are pretty cool. They're all chill, and wise, and not a whole lot ruffles them. They're my kind of folk. So even if I do still feel like that dorky kid in Mrs. Schober's fourth grade class, I'm not. I'm an adult. I'm forty, feeling pretty fabulous and happy with life.
And Mrs. Schober friended me on Facebook a few months back, so the illusion that it's still 1983 is long gone. :)