Is it a sex blog? A mommy blog? A bitch & moan blog? Um, . . . yeah. This is my place to be totally honest. In my real life, I feel like I'm always lying to somebody about something. Here, I am totally honest. Brutally so. However, no matter what bad things I say about my kids, I adore them and would never ever really, say, sell them on Ebay. The husband, often referred to as Spousehole, is another story. Oh yeah - if you are under 18 (or if you are my husband), please leave now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Turning 40: Midlife crisis?

No, it's not my birthday . . . yet. According to the countdown clock on my sidebar, it's less than 2 months away. But I have been thinking about it a lot.

I've never been this apprehensive about a birthday. 25 was a little thought provoking, mainly because I was still in school, was losing my health coverage through my dad's employer (full-time students can stay on a parent's insurance until 25; my parents ended up paying my COBRA premiums for the next 1.5 years till I got a full-time job), and my mom had cancer. But it wasn't so bad. I didn't mind being 25.

I embraced 30. I was in a good place then. I had gotten the cojones to leave a job I abhorred, owned my own home, had been celibate (by choice) for a year, and was content to live my life on my terms. I didn't care if I ever got married, I was doing work I could live with, I was financially independent, and therapy had gotten me to accept myself the way I was, flaws and all. The only bad thing was that I had put on a lot of weight during my period of celibacy. (When no one sees you nekkid, you stop caring what you look like nekkid.) I was pretty darn happy 10 years ago.

But now that 40 is bearing down on me like a Mack truck, I am dreading it. Mid-life crisis? Perhaps. Some days I wonder how the hell I ended up where I am today.

I was a wild 20-something, the one who bemuses the staid neighbors with her crazy lifestyle. Now I'm the stable, nice neighbor who waters your plants and feeds your cat when you go on vacation. I watch your kids while you go to the dentist, asking only that you return the favor one day. I have keys for several neighbors homes, because I'm considered that trustworthy. It's so sad.

I never was one of those women who dreams of their wedding day; I was okay with never getting married. I never needed a man to define who I am. But here I am, married 8 years, and getting less agitated all the time when people call me Mrs. Married Name (my name is Ms. Bunny Maidenname Marriedname - no hyphen, thank you).

I never wanted children. I didn't really like kids and I have no patience for them. But here I am, with two beautiful children whom I adore. Still no patience, however. And I get sick to death of the presumed sainthood that people bestow on me because I have a special-needs child. I just love him and raise him like you do your kids - it doesn't make me special, just a mom. Geez. I still don't like to share my toys with my kids - maybe in some ways I'm emotionally just a kid myself.

I thought I would NEVER be a housewife or stay-at-home mom. I mean, can you imagine? Housework is drudgery and to be financially dependent on a man is ridiculous!! Yet, here I am, a stay-at-home mom and totally financially dependent on my man (though if we split up, I'd go back to practicing law and be ok, I think).

I always thought that people who cheat on their spouse were complete and utter morons and deserved all the bad things that would happen because of it. I never thought I would cheat on my spouse - what kind of whore does that? Yet, here I am.

So, yes, I guess this is a bit of a mid-life crisis for me. I'm trying to embrace 40 - that's why I did the countdown clock (idea totally stolen from Polt!). It's not for y'all - it's a reminder to myself that it's coming, whether I like it or not, and to sit back and enjoy the ride. Maybe I just need a really cool way to celebrate:

I don't want a party. My BFF did a big party for her 40th and that was great. But it's not me. I even hated my own wedding reception. I used to love a good party, but not so much anymore. I know, I'm a party pooper.

I'm thinking a trip. Perhaps Chicago for a weekend, with a side trip back to the town where I was born. (Muscatine, IA, if you care. Small town near the Quad Cities.) But if I go "home," I'll probably be expected to stop and see the relatives (in Atalissa, West Liberty, Muscatine, Iowa City, and Coralville - bet you've only heard of one those before today) and that I don't care for so much. All they ever say is how I look EXACTLY like my mother. I HATE hearing that - my nose is totally different; otherwise, okay, I do look at lot like her. But I am taller; she's only 4'11". And her hair was totally gray by my age. I got dad's hair, thank God.

I might also enjoy an amusement park trip. Early September is usually pretty warm yet and the parks are open weekends. If I do this, it would probably be Cedar Point. Six Flags in Gurnee, IL is not as far, but it's not near as cool either. I'm a roller coaster fiend. I'll skip those things that just drop straight down, though. Never liked those, even before that poor girl got her feet lopped off.

If I do take a trip, I need to figure out if I go alone or bring Spousehole. Probably bring him. I can sell it as a celebration of both our b-days, since we didn't do a whole lot for his 40th in March. Prying the cash from his cold, miserly fingers may be difficult, but I think I can do it.

I am open to suggestions for celebrating my 40th. Email me or leave a comment with your ideas for a relatively low cost (no flying anywhere) celebration. And don't say "divorce your husband and buy a sporty car." I can't afford a new car right now!


terry said...

i love the idea of a trip... especially an amusement park trip. then again, i'm a kid at heart (or just immature, whatever.)

the thing is, you should do something fun, especially if you're at all wigged out about the age change.

it's funny... i was okay with 30... but 35 freaked me out for some reason. and then i had a big party for 40, so it was just a really fun occasion.

it really is just a number. i hope i remember that when i hit the next milestone...

SlipOfAGirl said...

The number can be scary, but really (stating the obvious 'really') you're more upset with situational things. You can change, improve, and adjust. None of which are prevented by that number. Or any number.

I know.

I've been where you are, in many ways.

Edtime Stories said...

I will think of some way to celebrate...but I think when I turned 40 I decided life is too important to not suck every joy one can out of it. While sometimes work is difficult, and life complicated I find ways of having joy in my life. Even small ones.

Hank said...

I think 30 bothered me more than 40 did.

The day I turned 40 was the first time I had sex with Peggy, so that might have had something to do with it.

Trueself said...

I had much more trouble with 30, but that was because I had in my mind what I would have accomplished by 30 and was disappointed at myself. I spent much of my 30's playing catch up and meeting some of those goals belatedly. By the time I hit 40 I had no problem with it at all. All of this to say that I think that whatever "milestone" birthday happens to occur when you are not satisfied with some aspect of your life is likely to be the birthday that troubles you most. Look at the root causes of your restlessness, dissatisfaction, whatever, and work on those.

As far as the trip, oh yeah go on a trip. Have some fun. Take your mind of things for a bit.

The "Mind" said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love what I've read of yours so far and I am so adding you to my list of must reads. I could have written most of those words myself.

Spousehole...bwahahahaha! I find that so hysterically funny. I call my ex-husband exhole. *snort*

And prying the cash from his fingers, priceless. Pman (not married, just shacking up for the time being and not sure how much longer because he's been an ass lately thankyouverymuch) is the same way. I'm only thankful that my money is my money, otherwise my life would really suck.

Not sure what you should do for your 40th. I hope my ridiculous family completely ignores it. I plan on treating myself to a great trip either alone or with my best girlfriends who are scattered across the U.S. Not sure where, but I've got a few years to plan it yet.

The inside of me said...

The trip sounds good come visit me. :)

D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D said...

i am 43 and proud of it. i earned every one of those years. that is how i deal with getting older. i look at the year that past and find things in the make me feel good about it. i will admit that some years it is harder than others but it always works.

here is what i did on my 40th. our town has a place for the kids that is full of those inflatable playscapes, i.e. moonwalks, big slides, etc. i got 4-5 of my friends together and we went to there and played. it was a blast!!! and relatively cheap. get a few drinks into you before hand and just act like a kid.

you have earned 40. be proud of it and go act your mental age.

Dates Bubbas said...

40 isn't that bad. I thought it would be a bigger deal to me than it was. Maybe that was because my mother made a big deal out of every birthday starting with 30.

However... my original plan was to go on a weekend trip to Belize (or some other tropical paradise) with my sweetheart. Prince Charming broke up with me a month before my birthday, so that went out the window. Yeah, I still could have gone there, but it wouldn't have been the same. I then made a list of all the other places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do. Then I realized that I didn't want to be sitting in a bar in some other state or country all by myself saying "Happy Birthday to Me" without any of my friends around.

So... I organized my own 40th birthday party. I invited everyone I consider a friend. We all met at Olive Garden and I bought the wine. Someone else picked up the tab for my dinner and dessert. We all had a great time and I spent my birthday with the people that mean something to me.

Life is what you make it...

David's Traveling said...

I think mid forties is a great time for a mid life crisis. Embrace it and GO! BABY! GO!

Why grow old? Why accept that as you get older, you are going to slow down. It is kinda like dieting or quiting smoking (or not quiting smoking).... just don't let yourself get old.

I know, it is harder to say than do... my shoulder hurts every day and that never happened ten years ago... my hair used to be this colour 'naturally'... and now I don't actually mind wearing a suit (falling in love with Armani fixed that problem)...

Getting old? Just don't do it...


TAG said...

Just try and remember that getting older beats the alternative. Forty is no big deal.

Given what little I've read of your blog I'd suggest a weekend "business trip" with a suitable male companion. Not sure how you'd sell the idea to hubby and the kids; but, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.


Mrs.ZigZagMan said...

I went with my Mom and Grandma to Vegas for 4 days to celebrate them turning 50 and 70 respectively that same year. It was a blast. Spousehole? interesting term...i'm going to borrow that but not for me ok? LOL and 40? hell why worry? its coming no matter what. Personally I am looking for forward to 40....

Snow White said...

Personally, I've loved my 40's... best decade yet. I'm more comfortable in my own skin. Oh, I still have issues, but I think I'm handling them better. Good luck!

barman said...

I know you posted this a while ago but I had to share. When I was turning 40 I was not thrilled about it one bit. I had not even accomplished what you have accomplished but things were changing a little for me.

Then the kicker happened. I had something medical come up and spent a little over a week figuring it out. And then they found out my gull bladder needed to come out. 17 days after I turned I was to have the operation.

It was amazing what happened. I did not focus on my birthday one bit. Work decorated my office in black. I got a nifty 40th t-shirt. We celebrated at home but I never once thought about it. I spent most of my time cleaning and doing anything that take my mind off of the operation.

The big, BIG killer was 41 when it dawned on me I am not even 40 any more.

Lets keep the story going. I just turned 50 a few weeks back. For some strange reason I did OK with it. It turned into a week long celebration. Surprisingly people where not real mean about this one. And it actually went pretty well.

If you have not had your birthday already, try not to dwell on it. You still have lots of time to make what ever mark it is you wish to leave. You have a lot of time ahead of you. And despite you being the trusted one, the stable one... who says you can't kick up your heals from time to time.

I only wish I were 40 again. Happy Birthday from a fellow Michigander somewhat in your neck of the woods I would imagine judging by your comment on G-mans blog about the maze and blue shirt.

Victoria said...

Wow - your life completely mirrors my own.
I am completely freaked out and searching for someone to validate my existence. My single friends constantly tell me how geat I have it. Your husband is so great, he takes care of you. I was perfectly happy with my life until I realized turning 40 sucks and I have nothing to show for my life. Right - I went to college, worked, had two kids, great friends and family. Nothing really to complain about, excellent health etc. I need a new direction, a new focus. Thinking of going back to school - I wonder if that will help or continue to increase the wedge between me and the spouse. Do you think I will want to stay with my husband or is divorce probable. Everyone says it is not your husband, you need to work through it, the grass is not greener on the otherside. The same shits happens in all relationships.