In less than a month, I will turn 39. Which means, of course, I only have about 12 3/4 months left until I turn 40.
40, in the abstract, is a very weird plateau to hit age-wise. When I was younger, WAY younger, it seemed ancient. A far-away, ‘concept’ of an age instead of something I would one day be. 40 was for teachers and parents and postal workers it wasn’t for me. Oh sure, I did the mental math that every mother does where I figured out what age all my kids would be by the time I hit the big Four-Oh, but to have it just around the corner now is striking me as strange.
I have never really felt my age, if that’s even really a thing.
When I was a teenager I always felt older than my age. I was told by adults all the time (probably people in their 40’s, ironically) that I acted more mature than my age. My friends were all older. Hell, I was a mother by age 18 and I can tell you, I felt older than my age then too.
When I hit my twenties, a shift happened. I started feeling…younger. Having five kids by age 26 will do that to you though. It makes you acutely aware that you are by far and away, the youngest mom at the playground, on the school yard, signing your kid up for high school. When Liam first started high school, I went in on the second day to drop something off at the office and the secretary asked if I was a transfer student.
TRANSFER STUDENT. TO HIGH SCHOOL. I was 32. It was my favourite brag moment for a LONG time. (She also might have been a much older lady with thick glasses, but it still counts!!)
Right into my mid-late thirties I felt young. And then this past year my back went out. Really badly. For two months, I couldn’t walk without a slight limp and hunch. I needed a cane to go out, and even then I couldn’t take walking for more than about twenty minutes at a time. My back STILL isn’t completely back to normal (it’s been over six months) but it’s much better now. What it has done for me though is really made me feel my years. I’m almost forty. I can’t drink like I used to, I can’t stay up like I used to and now when I injure myself, my body does not bounce back like it used to. It’s pretty much a rip-off to age.
So, I plan to fully enjoy my last year in my thirties. I’m excited to see what 40 is going to bring.