I can certainly attest to that. Since I turned 40 (less than two weeks ago), my life has been a whirlwind of activity. I haven't even had a chance to blog about my birthday til now. Middle Age is exhausting.
Why does Google images give me pictures of old people when I search "middle age"? This image was titled "Middle age couple." Really? Are they from a place where people routinely live to 120?
I'm 40 now. Timageddon came and went. The sun still rises and sets according to the predictable motions of the heavenly spheres. I get up every day and do the same things I did just before I was 40. My mind is still sharp. My body is still strong. (Except for this weird sinusy almost-cold thing I've had for a week, which won't bloom into a full-fledged sickness but also won't go away. I swear, I've spent half of my 40's being almost sick.)
After much existential angst, I decided to make a Big Deal out of my 40th birthday. When's the next time in my life I'll be able to get a bunch of people to pay attention to me? So I took the 40 theme and ran with it.
I had a cookout party at my brother's large house and yard the night before my birthday. I called it The Night Before Timageddon and I invited everyone who might possibly come, and many who wouldn't.
In all, 29 people showed up (including kids), and as far I as I know, they had a good time.
My sister-in-law came up with the idea of having everyone bring 40 of something, so I received:
- 40 Little Debbie cakes
- 40 sparklers
- 40 tiny candy bars
- 40 random unpaired objects from someone's house (most of them socks-- I was mostly shocked that any one house could have so many lost socks)
- My poet friends wrote 40 phrases (fun/nonsensical/tim-related) that had never been used effectively in a poem.
- Other people brought things like coffee mugs and cupcakes, but not 40 of them.
- My paramedic friend had to leave the party early for his night shift, but promised to save someone's life in my honor. So I have that going for me.
My sister read out a list of 40 memories she had of me, which was perhaps the highlight of the evening. Most of the memories were already a part of family lore-- stories I'd heard and talked about for years and years. But a few of them were new to me, like the fact that I wore braces on my legs when I was a toddler. Like Forrest Gump!
Of course, someone had to bring a "40" of Miller High Life. (I.e. a 40-ounce bottle of it.) I'd already drank three (good high-quality) beers before that, so downing the 40 was quite a challenge.
But I wasn't going to let 40 beat me. I finished it.
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When I first woke up as a 40-year-old man, at 4:30 in the morning, I felt like absolute crap. But after re-hydrating and getting some more sleep, I felt much better and ready to tackle the new decade.
First project of the new era? Paint my living room.
I'd been meaning to paint the main wall in my living room for a while now. Since my brother, sister, and mom were still in town, I asked them to lend their expertise, consultation, and labor to help with this project.
We went with a dark red, maroon-ish color that matches the new dark green (sage) couch I bought last spring. We did the main wall where the fireplace and mantle is, and which the couch faces, so it's the wall I look at the most.
The area of my wall I look at the most. Probably because it's over that big rectangular device-- my movin' picture box.
My sister also convinced me to paint the adjacent wall, which has a big archway that leads into the dining room.
She said the arch was begging to be painted. She'd had her eye on it since I first bought the house. It was ripe for the painting. Because I'm an agreeable little brother, I was fine with that.
We finished both coats in one day, and now I have a beautiful new red living room.
For a new decade.