Do you ever just lose track of time?
I’ll be sitting on the couch playing the Wordle archive and suddenly realize it’s after 6pm and I haven’t started the kids’ dinner yet.
Or my husband and I will be laughing about something hilarious our toddler did, and we can’t remember if it was this morning or yesterday.
Or I’ll be catching up with a friend and tell her we all had a cold the other day, when it was really three weeks ago.
I don’t have a great sense of time (hello, adult ADHD!). That ten year challenge came out, and I was scrolling through my pictures trying to find a picture of me in college – only to realize I’ve been graduated for closer to 20 years and was already nearly married a decade ago.
I also don’t have any particular skill for math, so it will surprise no one to learn that all year I thought I was 39. And, as my birthday approached, I fully expected to be turning the big 4-0.
Don’t worry, I figured it out before throwing myself an unearned party.
So we celebrated my 39th birthday on Monday, with a beautiful cake made by my husband and my girls. Truth be told, it felt a little anticlimactic – partly because it was a Monday, and I’m a mom, so there were still kids to be chauffeured, and groceries to be acquired, and dishes to be done. But also partly because I had mentally skipped over 39.
The thing is, I’ve built 40 up a bit in my mind. Almost every time in my life when I’ve met a woman and thought, “Wow, this lady is fantastic!” that woman has turned out to be in her 40s. I get that it’s not the norm, but since my mid-20s, I’ve been looking forward to that milestone.
I like to imagine I’ll be a real grown up then, but the cool kind. Someone who finds some balance, who takes care of herself as much as she does of the people around her. Someone in a casual blazer, with light make up on at soccer practice. Someone who doesn’t overdraft her bank account ordering craft supplies. Someone who always knows where her chapstick is and who owns more than one bra that doesn’t have the underwire duct taped in.
Someone who has her shit together, essentially.
And now I have an extra year before I get there.
It’s a gift, really. I get an extra year to metamorphose, to start ironing out the wrinkly parts of me I’ve been unsatisfied with. To envision this next stage of my life, and what I want to do with it, and how I want to spend my time, and how I want to feel.
The day after my 39th birthday, I got out of bed and tackled some adulting I’ve been avoiding for ages. I joined AAA, I made dentist appointments, and I finally started the process for getting us some life insurance.
And then I had birthday cake for breakfast, because I have an extra year before I grow up.