40 x 40 x 40 – Here’s What I’m doing…
In a nutshell – I’m having a nice, quiet midlife crisis. Nice and quiet. That’s typically how women have midlife crises I suspect – nicely and quietly. Smiling in the school drop off line, while kicking and screaming and setting shit on fire from the inside out. Acting like monsters sometimes in front of our families and showing up for work and social events as though it’s just another day in suburban paradise.
Meanwhile, we’re dying a little, or so it feels. Wondering how we got here – how we found ourselves at his specific point in time.
For my 39th birthday (just a few months ago) I bought myself a medallion. A coin. One of those things you keep in your pocket to remind you of stuff. The Memento Mori Medallion – Remember your death. Remember you’re totally gonna die one day. And guess what, that day could be today – like right now. So, let that determine what you think, what you say and what you do.
The coin has a skull on the front representing death. A tulip on the right and an hourglass on the left. Representing life and time respectively. It’s painfully honest. It’s a punch in the gut reminder of how fleeting this life can be. How fleeting it definitely is. How fast time seems to move. And how little control we have of these things.
In the spectrum of time, each life no matter how long or short it is, is barely a blip on the timeline of history.
This coin serves as a reminder – to those who choose to accept it – to remember that life is fleeting. The one guarantee we all have – is death. And in considering that, we get the gift of deciding how to live.
Remember your death – so you don’t forget to live.
So I started asking myself how I want to spend my nano-second of time on this planet. What do I want to do with the life I have? Am I happy? And even more – is happiness the goal? For me it’s actually not necessarily. There’s a lot to be learned in the struggle. I don’t believe life is meant to be a never ending joyride of smiles and laughter. We have a spectrum of emotions for a reason.
So here I am at the intersection of what matters to me – and what I can actually control, inside of the acknowledgement that I’m definitely going to die and I have no idea when. And this is where my journey begins – or continues from – or however you want to see it.
I bought the coin for my 39th birthday because as I sat down to reflect on what my life looked like at 38, as I have pretty much every year for the past few, I realized I still wasn’t living the life I really wanted to be living.
Despite my work reminding women that our life is our story and we can write it however we damn well please – the truth is, I’ve found myself continuing to follow some rules I don’t agree with. Continuing with contracts that no longer define who I am and how I want to live.
I realized that my boring basic bitch transformation is only beginning. And I suddenly feel this intense sense of urgency.
Because holy shit, I’m almost 40. And THAT’S almost 50. Oh dear god – I’m almost 50. FIFTY. I was just 20.
So I’m panicking. Like actually panicking – legitimately every night in bed – about turning 50. Like life must end at 50. Over the next 10 years my tits are going make their slow descent to my belly button. (But in truth, we all know that’s not new – I’ve nursed 3 kids for a total of 5 years for christ sake.) I’m going to have raised 2 full human beings into adulthood with a third heading straight there. I’m gonna be fat and wrinkly. No one is going to want to look at me, much less have sex with me. And my hot husband who is 6 years younger than me is still all young and in his 30’s and I’m almost fucking 50.
And I think of the book still trapped in my head. The things I want to do. The truth I want to tell. And the fears I want to face.
So yea, I’m smack in the middle of a legitimate, bona fide mid-life crisis that’s been brewing for a few months now – and I have 2 options. Well, 3 if you count going deeper in debt to buy some stupid red sports car, fucking a stranger and burning my entire life to the ground. And while I haven’t totally written that off, the way I see it I have 2 options that I’m more seriously considering.
- Do nothing. Keep going to work. Get fatter. Drink more. Loathe myself at all time highs. Die with regret.
- Do ALL THE THINGS I’ve wanted to do that contribute to me being who I really am.
I’m going with Door Number 2.
In October I wrote about how I was tired of being a boring basic bitch. That was around the time I turned 39 and bought this coin. And so here I am now writing a list of things I want to do before I turn 40. Who do I want to be as a 40 year old woman?
I’m hashing this out in my journal, of course. It’s what I do. It saves me. And it also births really scary ideas. And that’s where I am right now. I’m standing at the precipice of a crazy little idea, and I’m about to jump. Because I don’t want to have a nice, quiet mid-life crisis like I’m expected to do.
I want to have a seriously epic mid-life crisis.
And I want to show women that they too can have a midlife crisis of epic proportions. You don’t have to come home after work and make your family meatloaf in your heels and go cry in your bubble bath with a bottle of wine. Go light that shit on fire. Create the life you want to live. Have yourself a mid-life crisis that changes your life.
As of next week I have 40 weeks until I turn 40 years old – and I’m making a list of 40 things I’m going to do/learn/accomplish/be/speak by my 40th birthday.
40 X 40 X40 – It looks like this:
Experiences to have.
Goals to accomplish.
Fears to Face.
Confessions to make.
Because I absolutely must write my story – since life obviously ends at 50, right? 😉 And I’m knocking on the door.
And I feel like this next part might go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s not that I haven’t done a lot of things. I recognize that I have. And it’s not that I don’t have a really beautiful life. I do. I have many privileges and I’ve worked hard for a lot of things. And I’m grateful for my opportunities.
But at the same time I’ve continued to make choices that have stifled my growth and healing. And I just haven’t lived the way I want to live. I haven’t spoken the words I’m meant to speak.
So this will be a lot of things. It’ll be fun – and funny, no doubt. Probably a little sad. It’ll be full of love and reflection. It will be me doing a lot of shit I wish I’d been doing all along. Sharing my conscious reflections and seeing where it goes.
One of my greatest fears is that I will die with things left unsaid and with my greatest gifts still hidden away.
And another fear is that as I age I become irrelevant.
It’s my intention to shatter both of those fears.
So for now, HerStory is changing, as I said a few months ago it would. I wasn’t sure exactly how until now. This will be my account of living my story, and it’s my hope to inspire other women to do the same – that part of HerStory will always remain the same.
Let the next 40 weeks begin. And just to be clear – I have no idea what I’m doing.
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