Monday, August 29, 2011

Lordy, Lordy...

            I turned 39 for the second time today. I’m not going to lie, when I woke up I seriously considered hiding under the covers for the better part of the day. The air was cool after Mother Nature’s tantrum yesterday so I pulled an extra quilt over myself to go back to sleep. When my husband came in to kiss me goodbye, my elderly cat snuck into the room and curled up with me. My kids were up and watching TV downstairs. I suspect they had been warned to let Mommy sleep in on her birthday.
            But I could hear a lot of activity in the neighborhood. The morning after Hurricane Irene the neighborhood was alive with the sound of chainsaws from people clearing away downed trees and branches. We were very fortunate—no major damage, no power loss on my street and no flooding in the basement. I could hear transformers blowing throughout the day yesterday but we never had more than a few seconds without electricity.
            I realized that lying there was just making my back stiff—you have to worry about stuff like that when you get old. So I got up and went to my computer. There were a couple dozen messages wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook. It’s so strange and wonderful to get messages from people I haven’t seen since the days of Aqua Net and Duran Duran.
This was delivered to our table as the violinist played "Happy Birthday"
            Since my birthday fell on a Monday this year, I did the bulk of my celebrating on Saturday. My marvelous friend Kate Sterling took me into Boston to have high tea at the Raj Hotel (formerly The Ritz). We spent and elegant afternoon overlooking Newbury Street while sipping Champagne and tea and nibbling on tiny sandwiches and pastries. Afterwards, we headed back to my place, changed into jeans and flip-flops, grabbed my husband and headed out for Mexican food. Our good friend Claire had graciously agreed to baby-sit my little guys as we indulged in Carne Asada and margaritas. The evening was just as enjoyable as the afternoon in a completely different way.
            I had every intention of sitting down and writing a piece about turning forty. But I have nothing very enlightening to say. The world did not stop turning. I feel exactly like I did yesterday. I am thrilled we didn’t lose power during the hurricane.  I’m mentally kicking myself in the butt to get to the gym. The breakfast dishes still won’t wash themselves. My kids are still loud, energetic and adorable. My marriage is still pretty awesome. I’m still spending far too much time checking Facebook and not enough time actually writing. Do I feel smarter? Stronger? More capable? Yes. Not more so than yesterday, but a lot more so than I did when I was in my 20’s. In other words, 40 is a lot like 30… with a few more gray hairs.