Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Best Age
My sister-in-law turned 40 this Christmas. Someone asked her how it feels and she said "Well, at least I can still say I'm in my 40's for a while". 40 seems pretty scary for many people, especially women. When I turned 40, my darling children worried that I would feel bad about turning 40, so they bought silly string, a Barbie cake and decorations, and really spoiled me. At least, that's the way I remember it. I still have some silly string stuck to the back of the headboard on my bed - not quite sure how it got there, but it's not coming off. But, to tell the truth, I wasn't upset about turning 40. I didn't feel old, and since it has always been my plan to live to be 100 or more, I wasn't even to the mid-point of my life as far as I was concerned. I am seriously into my late 40's now, and I really love the age I am. I have never in my life been truly comfortable with who I am until now. I always struggled with my tendency to be like the person I was with at the time, just trying to fit in. But in this decade I have become very sure of who I am, what I like, and who I want to be with. This has been difficult and uncomfortable for my poor husband. He has had to come to terms with the fact that there are certain things that I don't like and things I will not do anymore because I refuse to pretend to like something just to please someone else. He has had a lot of "But I thought you liked..." moments. And I try to patiently explain to him that I never really liked going camping, I just pretended to because he likes it.
Along with being confident about who I am comes bravery. Some things that are not politically correct or popular? Doesn't matter, I'll admit to indulging. I love to eat meat, especially if it has fat in it. I like to drink occasionally. I like country music, classic rock, and Dean Martin's crooning makes me nostalgic in a happy sort of way. I hate to exercise. I wasted many years trying to sew, cursing at my machine, until I admitted to myself with a great sigh of relief that I really hate it. Why did it take so long for me to figure out that one? Because my mom loves to sew, tried to teach me to sew, and I felt that I should like it as well. I also hate the crust on the bread and have eaten it for my whole life because I was taught to not waste food. Not anymore - I throw the crust away or sneak it to the dog under the table without a twinge of remorse. I actually don't go to church every Sunday! I like going to church, but I don't like the idea that I HAVE to go, therefore I enjoy it more when I do go. Perhaps the second half of my life will bring changes in my attitude, but for now, I'm pretty comfortable with me, and it feels pretty good to be able to say that. I don't feel the need to be belligerent or aggressive about it - I am just as comfortable with others not liking what I like.
So make a New Year's Resolution to be true to you - it's the best thing you can do for yourself.