So… my 40th birthday is around the corner. I’ve been ignoring it, distracting myself with all the other stuff that happens around this time of the year, like the girls’ birthdays, our annual Pre Cana talk, Easter, spring cleaning. I was really hoping it would just glide by quietly, but I guess that’s hard when you have a soon-to-be 10-year-old, so! excited! to celebrate! your birthday with you.
I had recently started running again so all I wanted was to buy myself a new pair of running shoes and perhaps enjoy some yummy Korean food. This may seem modest by some standards, but it really isn’t. Sure, it’s no diamond earrings or a trip to Hawaii, but having a peaceful, leisurely meal is pretty priceless in my life. I’ll go for priceless over bling.
Alas, I just found out that my SIL has taken off the Saturday before my birthday in anticipation of celebrating with me. Not because there’s a set plan or a party, but just because she just naturally assumed there would be some sort of celebration.
And I know, I KNOW, I’m being some sort of a petty and selfish brat, something negative anyway, but I was annoyed. It’s my birthday after all and shouldn’t I get to spend it however and with whoever I wish? And frankly, I don’t want to celebrate it!
I don’t have to invite her (and FIL naturally), but now my conscience is pricked. And the thing is that I’m a creature ruled by a strong Korean guilt complex. So, I’ll probably be “celebrating” it, grit-grinning through the happy birthday wishes.
Why am I so disinclined to celebrate my 40th birthday? It isn’t the number that bothers me… although to be honest, I do find myself flabbergasted every time I write it or say it. It’s just that turning 40 is, unfortunately, coinciding with all the signs of aging. In the past 3 months or so, white hairs have started to just pop all over the place and have become very visible. I’m the heaviest I have been since post baby. I’m talking real weight gain, not just the 3 to 4 pound weight fluctuations that comes and goes. As in clothes so tight that you start wearing the same 3 pairs of the looser pants and you wear loose sweaters and cardigan to hide the middle bulge.
I’m dealing with crazy hormonal surges that effect my mood and appetite and I feel physically old. Okay, maybe not old, but worn out and unfit. My joints creak. I pull muscles without realizing how. My back is always hurting. When I spend half a day cooking, my feet, legs and back feel like I’ve run a marathon.
As much as I like to complain, I’m by nature a solver. Which is why I actually started running again. Nothing like having to move up a size in pants to motivate you into exercising again. Eight years ago, when I worked so hard to lose the 12 pound post baby weight, I vowed I would never go back up in pants size again. I know it may not seem like much to some, but believe me, that’s a lot of weight for my frame.
Hopefully, the added benefit of regularly exercising again is a stronger body, more energy and better mood overall. Three weeks of running and no evidence of any of those, but it’s early yet.
I’ve made an appointment with my hair stylist about dyeing my hair. I’m worried because of my extreme allergies to any cosmetics and most personal care products. Hopefully, I won’t react badly because the thought of having white hair is truly depressing.
The other reason for my “depression” is that my career has really taken a nose dive into nothingness. All that time and money spent on my education and working hard, over-time, after hours, weekend, trying to do all the right thing to show my capabilities and fizzle. No visible way for me to move up or even out. Again, I’m taking steps to do something about it, but there’s no guarantee that things will change.
Anyway, if you see me in the next few weeks and I seem moody, testy, sad, tired, anti-social, apathetic, or distracted, this is why. And do me a favor, please, and don’t tell me that the 40’s is the new 30’s.