I turn 37 years old today. It’s not really such a big deal. I guess I’m officially moving from mid-thirties to late-thirties…okay, that does give me pause. Shouldn’t my acne have cleared up by now? And are those a few new wrinkles and grey hairs I see this morning? Overall, though, I’m okay with the number.
I had a bit of a crisis when I turned 20; I hadn’t been dating Sir Monkeypants for long and I think he thought I was a little crazy (but in a good, sexy kind of way). I wasn’t popular or anything in high school, but I was surprisingly happy there, with a close circle of friends and lots of activities and the adoration of all my teachers because I was such a brown-noser. I really felt like a great period of my life was over, and I was sad about it. Just for one day, though. Sir Monkeypants is really good at cheering me up.
Then when I turned 23, my friend Ruth gave me a birthday card on which she had written, “Happy Birthday! Only 17 more years until 40!” Which totally freaked me out.
By the time I turned 30, I was married and working and already had at least ten grey hairs. We had a house and were talking about maybe having kids one day, and so I had another freak out, but in a more productive way. I decided to do all the stuff I’d always wanted to do, now, before I was too old and decrepit and washed up to do it. I took guitar lessons. I went back to tap dancing. I started Sidekick, which was my website where I did movie reviews and wrote entertainment-related columns. I took up ultimate and got in shape. I was busy every day of the week.
The frenzy of activity was a really good thing, in that when it came time to have the kids, I felt like I’d done a lot of things, seen a lot of things, had a lot of fun, and was now ready to settle down. I haven’t had any regrets about giving up my social activities because I know they are there, waiting for me, and I’ll get back to them some day. In the meantime I’m having lots of fun staying at home.
So now we’re up to 37…only three more years until 40.
I think back to that 20-year-old, who was so obnoxious and thought she knew everything and that there were no more good times to be had, and I sigh at the total insufferability of 20-year-olds. I’m happy that’s all behind me.
I think back to that 30-year-old, who was so frantic to get all of live lived in one year, and I smile because I’m proud of the things I did, but I’m prouder of the life I have now, the family I have now. So I’m happy that’s all behind me.
Thirty-seven feels pretty good. It feels right. It feels happy.