I’m 40 years old.
I have been married for almost 21 years, so, do the math, I was 19 at my wedding. 19…and pregnant…with my SECOND child. Statistically, I should be on my second husband by now. (in a way, I kind of am, but I’ll get to that later)
I’m 40 and I work two jobs. I work six days a week most weeks. And sometimes two or three 12 hour days.
I’m 40 and today I sit here at work with my large decaf coffee, my huge bottle of water, my leopard print shirt, my short hair buoyantly curled and my glasses on. I was going for pin-up-esque but I think I hit more on cougar.
I’m 40 and I’m teaching myself to knit. Yeah, my mom once taught me years and years ago, but I was young and had no sense of patience. My poor mom, she taught me and I made once scarf and gave up. But, I’m older now and I am going to have grand babies one day (NOT YET)and I’d like to be able to make them a blanket, or booties. I sat on the couch the other night and was winding yarn and my oldest son, almost 22, looked at me and said “mom, you’re 40, not 60” but the truth is there are lots of younger people learning how to knit. I mean, aren’t there?
I make probably 85% of the meals we eat at home from scratch. Sometimes the kids or the hubs do it, but mostly it’s me. My kids grew up seeing me standing over the stove in the kitchen or standing at the counter, my midriff covered in flour. I have no doubt that a lot of their associations of me, dear ol’ mum, involve food.
I also know how to sew. Another dying art, I’m told. But I have a sewing machine and, thanks to my oldest daughter two Christmases ago, I also have a dress form. I love that thing. I don’t get down to my sewing room as often as I would like these days, but, I did make my new wedding dress last year.
Which brings me to the second husband part.
Last year for our 20th anniversary, instead of going to Italy as we had originally planned (Shawn wasn’t able to fly that far so soon after his heart attacks) we got remarried in our house, by the kids. It was totally romantic and sweet…except for the part where our oldest thought it would be hilarious at the beginning to quote that marble-mouthed priest from The Princess Bride.
Shawn said to me last fall, one evening in his hospital room, that our original vows said “until death do us part” and he had died. So, we were in effect, no longer married. And then he re-proposed to me. It remains to this day one of the most beautiful memories I have.
So, I married him again. Both of us a little older, a little wiser. Considering that there was once a time when we almost split for real, it meant that much more to me.
I remember going through a huge funk a few years back. I worried that I didn’t know ‘who I was’. What was I to the world? What was I to myself? Shawn kept on telling me that I didn’t have to define myself all the time.
And you know what? I think I’m finally getting it. I can be whatever the hell I want. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, cook, maker of dresses, knitter of….things, writer of books, hell, I have so many titles I could put onto myself that it’s no wonder I was having an identity crisis of sorts back then.
I no longer try to define myself as much.
Because I’m 40 and I’m too tired for all that angst.
I’m just me.
And I’m okay.