My mum asked me whether I was going to tell you, my readers, where I’d been between August and October and explain my absence. I was just going to recommence writing and hope you didn’t notice or were polite enough not to ask!
However, I’ve decided it is a good opportunity for a bit of a rant and a whinge (I did warn you!!).
I haven’t been anywhere (well, other than Melbourne). Essentially I just chucked a super-girly, mega-meltdown, hissy fit. Yep, straight up – I got the shits on. Why?
Because of the “F word”.
And no, I’m not referencing my potty mouth. I’m referring to FORTY. The BIG 4 OH, as “they” say. I’m pretty sure the OH stands for “oh shit”.
Yes, I turned 40.
It seems I, in my usual melodramatic fashion, have likened this coming of age to… well, to DEATH.
Initially, DENIAL. I had plans to head to New York with a friend and celebrate in my own way (which was essentially to act like an immature git, place my head up my own backside and pretend it wasn’t happening – all from a foreign location with good shopping and plentiful art).
Then, New York crumpled into a gut-wrenchingly, disappointing heap.
The demise of New York also yielded the demise of what I had regarded, for some years, as a very valuable friendship. Dream vacation and so called “best friend” – KAPUT.
I really did use the proper F word this time, profusely. I believe this is ANGER.
Fortunately, my amazing true friends and my insanely, brilliant family have provided me with therapy-like support and several very cool birthday occasions.
Out of sympathy my mum and dad kindly offered to throw me a party. I really only accepted for mum’s benefit, she seemed to feel it was really important and, as you know – mum’s are generally right about most things. The deal was there MUST be fairy lights and that I wouldn’t be involved, except on the day. This sounds much like BARGAINING.
At this point I seem to have outwitted the grieving cycle and jumped straight to ACCEPTANCE as, for someone who actually did not wish to celebrate this birthday in the traditional manner, I managed to ensure the occasion kept on giving for about 3 weeks!!
I was feeling rather smug about skipping the whole “DEPRESSION” phase – look at me, all clever and outwitting the headshrinkers and their fancy-schmancy diagrams!!
Then I reflected. Since being 40 (for a whole 40 or so days now) I have:
- Lost a friendship.
- Cancelled a trip to New York.
- Received an unexpected $1,500 electricity bill.
- Left a brand new, one hour old, pair of shoes on a tram in Melbourne.
- Crashed my car while trying to park.
- Put on 4kg (I’m short, I don’t carry it well).
- Had my position at work made redundant…
I thought I was just p***ed off. But ok I’ll admit, maybe I have been a little blue. Damn those shrinks and their charts!!!
But I have decided that all those things didn’t happen because I’m 40, they just happened. And, with time and perspective (thanks bw) I’ve noticed a lot of good things have happened too.
- I’ve rediscovered the meaning of true friendships and am revelling in that.
- I had a great party thrown for me by family and friends, got some very thoughtful gifts and my Dad said super nice stuff about me in a speech (as a rule my Dad doesn’t do speeches or make a habit of saying nice stuff out loud…).
- My lovely work colleagues risked my potential wrath and arranged a “surprise party” – complete with massive banner! Seriously – how freakin’ cool is that?!
- I got helium balloons! I love Helium balloons more than bubble-wrap! (There were lots more but they terrorised my dog and so were given to my niece for “safe keeping”)
- I had a lovely replacement trip to Melbourne with my mum and attended the Problogger Conference there with my cousin who I hadn’t seen in years.
- Those lost shoes got magically replaced (I can’t reveal how, it’s a secret).
- The lady whose car I hit was quite lovely about it.
- And maybe, just maybe, that redundancy might yield an opportunity which could lead me into working (and even living) in an environment more aligned with my values and passions.
So that’s where I’ve been – effectively commencing a midlife crisis with a modicum of style (sadly, minus the toy-boy and fast car).
This is how I’m moving forward with (thanks Ju!).
Tell me stuff – how have YOU handled your milestone birthdays?