trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “turning 40”

Out with the Old and in with the New

birthday cake

birthday cake (Photo credit: freakgirl)

Tick- tick- tick- tick

This is the only sound I hear in my head now (literally, I am sitting next to a loud clock with a second hand) as I count down the remaining 1 hour and 14 minutes or so that remain of my 30s.

I am typing this while sipping some $2 Chuck and snacking on the kids’ leftover m&ms in utter denial that I am about to turn 40. I know, I have talked about this ad nauseam for months – enough already! But it’s serious now, it’s literally an hour away.

 I understand that age is just a number and you are only as old as you feel. I know that I should embrace my 40s (they are the “new” 30s) and become my own woman. I should be happy I am not in my 20s anymore (actually I am ok with that one) and look forward to this next chapter in my life cause after all, it’s better than the alternative.

I know that I will look exactly the same when I am woken up by the kids tomorrow at 6am (except for my new polka dot pj pants purchased at Target tonight) and that essentially everything will be exactly the same tomorrow as it is right now (except with cake and cards). I get all that but still I am a little sad.

I just feel a little old. I remember when my mom turned 40 and my grandpa thew her and my grandma a surprise party (they sort of shared the same birthday). I was 15 and had recently gotten a perm (don’t ask) and I made us late for the party because I didn’t like how my hair looked (I was 15 after all). I remember sitting there and thinking OMG my mom is 40, I hope I am never that old!!

I remember going to my uncle’s surprise 40th birthday party and watching him open up a present and hold up a t-shirt that had the letters S-H-I-T So Happy I Turned Forty printed on it. Everyone laughed when he held up the shirt and I rolled my eyes thinking that old people were so weird.

When my father turned 40 his wife (at the time) was 10 years younger and bought him a Carvel ice cream cake that said Happy 1st Anniversary of Your 39th Birthday and I remember how we all laughed thinking that would NEVER be us on the other end of that cake.

Well now it’s my turn and all I keep thinking is How the hell did that happen?! 

I swear it was just yesterday that I was just 24 and having drinks at The Office in Montclair with my friends M, L and L’s boyfriend (now hubby) T talking about how I was going to be 25 and how that was like SO old (yes, I was an ass). Wasn’t I just 30 and going to celebrate with the husband at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank for dinner? Wait, wasn’t it just the other day that I was almost 34 and about to have the twins?! Where the hell did the time go??!!

All day I have been doing a little check-list in my head of all the things I haven’t done (I haven’t gone to Europe or Hawaii, won the lottery, lost the last 10lbs from when L was born, had a 1 night stand or been swept off my feet by George Clooney). I also checked off some things I DID do (had 4 cute kids, got married, made some great friends, learned what a friend is, gained some confidence and started blogging). 

I guess the things I have done outweight the things I haven’t (except maybe the George one) and I would like to take a minute to bid adieu to some things I hope to leave behind in my 30s.

Goodbye scared, insecure girl always afraid of saying the wrong thing or worrying that someone won’t like her; Adios being intimidated by people who THINK they are smarter, prettier, more successful etc.; farewell always looking in the mirror and picking out all the faults; and hasta la vista being afraid to try something new for fear of looking dumb.

I am getting a little sleepy (old age does that to a person) so I guess I will wrap up. The husband and I are leaving for an overnight trip to Cape May tomorrow and I will do my best to enjoy the quiet that comes with leaving the kids at home!!

Happy birthday to me and let’s hope there are MANY more!


Let the countdown begin! (ugh)

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well today is May 1st and most people are thrilled. Winter is over (although this past winter in Central New Jersey was VERY mild) and Memorial Day is around the corner and then it will “officially” be summer. Time for the beach, back yard bbqs, longer days and kids on summer vacation.

When I was little, May was my absolute FAVORITE month because my birthday is May 20th. I remember whining through the first half of the year, jealous of all the winter birthday babies (like my brother), always asking my mother why I didn’t have a January birthday. Back then birthdays meant cake, parties and most importantly presents!!

Birthdays are a big deal in my family and we celebrate everyone’s with cake (of their choice) and a “party” . When I first met my husband he thought this was very weird since his immediate family barely acknowledged birthdays (to this day my MIL will call my husband 2-3 days BEFORE his birthday to wish him a “happy birthday”). Why are we going to X’s house for birthday cake? he would ask every month until March rolled around and it was his turn. Suddenly the birthday thing was pretty cool.

I always loved my birthday and didn’t really mind getting older (relatively speaking). In high school I counted down the days till I turned 17 and could drive and in college, my 21st birthday couldn’t come fast enough. Once I graduated from college though, things changed and birthdays weren’t as “fun” as they used to be. Sure there were special milestones (25yo – met husband;  28yo – got married; 34 – had twins etc.) but each year it got a little harder to celebrate getting older.

This was especially true around age 38. It became very clear that 40 was just around the corner and I could no longer consider myself in my early or even mid-30. I was one step closer to 40 which was O-L-D.

Ugh, the big 4-0!! I couldn’t even let my mind go there. 40 is not cool, 40 is 40. Remember when you were little and you would hear that someone was 40? Remember the images you would conjure up in your head?

I know I am being ridiculous. Age is a number, you are only as old as you feel blah blah blah. I know that I will be the same person on May 19th that I will be May 20th. I will look the same and my life will be the same – I get it.

I am happy with the changes I have seen in myself over the years. I am not the same person now that I was at 22 (thank god). I am even looking forward to this next chapter but it’s a little bittersweet. 

I am not alone in how I feel. The Class of 1990 all turns 40 this year and there have been many Facebook posts talking about it. Some people could care less, some were a little scared/sad and other threw big parties. I guess it is all in your mind-set.

I have mentioned this birthday in other blogs before and I have gotten great feedback from friends who are already 40. It makes me feel a little better. I am gonna try to not dwell for the next 19 days and I will even try to enjoy the actual day. (The husband and I are going on an overnight trip to Cape May and I will be able to sleep all night (uninterrupted) and past 6am the next day!! ) There will be cake and presents and friends and family (my kids especially) that want to take me out to celebrate. I guess it won’t be that bad. Besides I can always lie about my age if anyone dared to ask.

ps – If you are still in your 20s PLEASE do not tell me that 40 isn’t old or that you feel old at the ripe old age of 27 – thanks!

My Mid-Life Career Crisis


According to Keirsey, Oprah Winfrey may be a T...

Image via Wikipedia

Every right decision I’ve ever made has come from my gut, and every wrong decision I’ve ever made was a result of me not listening. ~ Oprah Winfrey

I was never really into quotes before, sure I would quote a sitcom or some pop culture reference but that was it. However, since  I started blogging I have become more aware of the power of words and quotes. The Oprah quote is one of my favorites. While most of us can not relate to the success of Oprah we can relate to the inner voice and our own inner voice.
Tuesday was a weird day for me. It was my “Monday” at work (I was not in work Monday due to sick kids) and I just had a feeling it would not be a good day at the office. Usually after weekend spent with sick kids I am sprinting out the front door but not yesterday. Even once I got to work,  I was sitting in the van dreading the walk into the office.
While at my desk I yelled at myself for worrying, everything looked fine. Then I saw it nestled in my in-box….an email advising my annual review would be at 2pm. Reviews in this office are usually not a big deal. Half the time the lawyers don’t bother to fill them out (they are VERY busy after all) and the cost of living increase is barely noticeable. Still, reading criticism about yourself is not an easy thing to do no matter how “constructive” it is.
2pm came and I dragged myself to the HR office. The 2 people in the room tried to look carefree but I could tell something was up. Well this was how the review began
 …this is going to be tough love.
It was like being sucker punched in the stomach. Who the hell wants to hear that at the start of a review?! While the entire review was not negative, let’s just say there were other ways I would have rather spent that hour (root canal, c-section, catheter insertion etc.).
Back in the safety of my cube I wiped away the tissue stuck to my face (gotta love that) and thought there has to be a better way, this can not be what I was put on this earth to do? I was 24 when I chose this career, I was a different person then.  That was pre-kids and really pre-life experience.
Now here I am almost 40 (shh please don’t tell anyone) and at a road block. This is not the career I want to do anymore. There HAS to be something, anything, else out there where my skills and personality would be better suited. A career where I can  make a difference to someone or something and be happy.
I wish I could walk into the HR office today and hand in my resignation but I can’t. I imagine it would feel exhilarating to walk in, lay the resignation on the desk and leave with a smile on my face but I can’t. I have a family to take care of, kids who need health insurance and a son with Autism who needs out-patient therapies.  
Ugh, being a grown up is so hard!!
I am going to use the next couple months (as the big 4-0 approaches) to think about what I want to leave behind in my 30s and what I want to take ahead on my new journey into my 40s (yikes!). Maybe I will take with me a new career path or some new opportunity that I am not aware of yet.
For now I am going to make the best of my situation and do my best at my job, even if I don’t want to. I will not let people here define who I am or chip away at my confidence. No matter what the future brings, I will definitely take Oprah’s advice and listen to my gut.

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