Reaching Forty

I am now forty. It is a nice round number and I must say that it is nice to no longer be 39. With my age at 39 there are people who suspect I’m actually older and fudging my age. Now I can say forty and they won’t doubt me. Other than being able to declare forty, not much feels different. Today was pretty normal because we put all the celebratory events on different days. I’m not done with fun events yet. I’ve got a couple more things next week, which is possibly why I’m content to let this day mostly be just a day.

It does introduce difficulty when the birthday phone calls come and I have little to report. The things which make me happy this week are not things that can be wrapped. They are quiet things and to explain why they are enough would take a long and heartfelt conversation, not exactly the fare for a birthday chat. So I pull little details like going out to Bombay House for dinner, or my trip to Antelope Island yesterday, or the Dancing with the Stars concert performance I’ll be attending this coming Friday. These things all make me happy, but most of my happiness comes from elsewhere. I did not enter this birthday season feeling a strong need for affirmation and recognition. I arrived here filled up instead of drained, and so I don’t need much. There are years where I need a lot.

It is fortunate that this was a low-need year, because today featured science fair project stress, growing-up angst, the question of what to do with freezer-burned salmon which is no longer suitable for sashimi, quarrels over magnet toys, a bloody nose, and rampant moodiness from several family members. It also included a salmon dinner which tasted marvelous, a fantastic lesson from our home teacher, children being enthralled with science documentaries, and me outlining a detailed plan for all the many appointments and events coming this week. (A plan is a happy thing. I like having plans.) I have many things I am anticipating in the next three weeks, which is a lovely ward against the unending cold, gray, snow.

I am forty and the day I arrived at forty was full of the normal sorts of happiness and frustration that I find in most of my days. I’m okay with that.