Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Just Don't Feel Like...

I'm turning forty this week. I've been told, it's a big one; I should have a huge celebration; 40 is the new 30; I don't look a day over 29.

Truly I have felt like crawling in a hole for days and days. I don't want a party, in fact I'm getting my teeth cleaned this week that's how high partying is on my list. I've spent a little time wallowing, reflecting, and wondering if I'm in the right place at this monumental time in my life or not. I'm in a weird place.

I can't complain. I love my children and husband. I love staying home and being there for my kids. I love teaching after-school art. I love writing and painting in my spare time. So, why the funk? That I'm unclear about. I know that it's natural for people to feel down when they hit the near mid-point of their life. I guess I didn't think I would be one of those people feeling down. And yet here I am.

So, I do what I've done since I was a little girl, I write about how I feel. Writing has always been cathartic for me. If I had a worry or a problem, I wrote it in my journal. It was never meant to inspire anyone, it was just a way to get it out so it didn't suffocate me.

As with any stage in life, this feeling of being lost will go away. I'll get back on that horse, gosh I miss riding, and find my path. But not this week, this week I'll sit down in the middle of it and watch seven seasons of Gilmore Girls and wonder if Lorelei and Luke will ever get together. I'll look for my path next week, right Scarlet?


Angelica R. Jackson said...

Yes, writing helps, although I'm not sure thoughts on turning 40 are relevant to your picture books or young adult novels!

40 didn't hit me that hard, but I guess the alternative to having another birthday felt very real to me last year. Midlife is just a phase of life, and it sounds like you're going through a grieving process--you'll be a different person on the other side, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different.

Have a happy birthday, and if a critique by an agent or pubbed author is on your birthday wishlist, send people to

Annie said...

Hi there. We met once at a Whole Foods SCBWI critique group.

Look, I'm 44. If it's of any use at all, I'd say forget it. 40 really isn't a big deal. Changes will come, but it will still be a few years before that happens. And even then, they are not a big deal as far as I've seen. In exchange, you have this fantastic ability to sort out what's important and what isn't. I now frequently say that I'm simply too old to care about whatever someone else deems life threatening. It's remarkably liberating. :)

So, I'd strongly suggest just going on with your life. Think of yourself as 39+ for a while till you realize how little has really changed. With luck, you've still got decades to do what you want. And you might find it's actually quite fun to be on the other side of that "hill."

Well, that's my two-cents worth. :)

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Thanks Annie! Nicely put.

Christina Mercer said...

Well, you don't look a day over 29, that's a fact ;-) Us women in our forties do go through a bit of a "change", and not just those physical changes. It's a time of re-evaluation, reflection, and setting goals for the next phase. I believe we've "come a long way baby" at this point, so much wiser than our 20-something selves.

Embrace your wisdom and experiences, lean on your 40-something sisters, and we'll take the world by storm together :-D

Christina Mercer said...


Anonymous said...

40 is just a number, my baby girl. God, I'm proud of you. Your talents abound. You zest for and love of life is your 40th gift. Take it all the way, my dear. I love you.

Pat Kahn's Childsplay said...

Truth be told – you don't look a day over 25. So happy birthday, my friend. May this be your best year ever.

Birthdays have never been a big thing for me, since I've always felt very lucky to have made it another year – to have another chance to see the leaves turn, another opportunity to write what's in my heart.