Saturday, November 05, 2011

40 In the Fast Lane

I stumbled out of bed, bleary-eyed and barely conscious, and into the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet, rapidly going through my mental checklist of What Hurts Today - a ritual becoming more and more frequent, I heard myself say in my out loud voice...

"I feel like...Robert Duvall."

I don't even know what that means. As far as I can tell, Robert Duvall, age 80, still has enough gusto in his gumbo to keep up with a wife 41 years' his junior (their age difference is wider than I am old!) - and is still an avid tango dancer.

I'm assuming I was equating my sense of Ow! I'm Aging! with Mr. Duvall but why I would have picked him specifically to compare how I was feeling is known only to an area of my psyche I'm unable to tap at the moment.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't feeling bald...or it had to be age...uh...I think.

The fact is I'm just shy of 40. I'm no longer approaching 40, y'all. The landing gear is down and the flight attendants are buckled into their jump seats just waiting for touch down. And, for the first time, my age is really REALLY bothering me.

It hadn't hit me - the magnitude of 40 - until recently even though I've been thinking about it for months. My thoughts weren't about actually being the big 4-0 they were all along the lines of how I was going to celebrate Trip? Broo Ha Ha? The force of the number did not occur to me until Acr0nym had his own 40th birthday on the 24th of October. Why his birthday would be the mental turning point, I don't know, but when he turned 40, it felt like a switch got flipped and I felt...old.

Since then, I've had a barrage of reminders that the last remaining days of my 30's are quickly falling away like dominoes in an OK Go Video.

OMG! It's JUST like that video! *laughing*

I mean, just even logging into my BlogHer account for the first time in several months in preparation for NaBloPoMo and reviewing my profile I was confronted with the very first phrase..."I'm a thirty-something serial blogger". Uh, no. Soon I'll be a forty-something serial blogger. Crap!

Additionally, we've recently hired a staff of several young whippersnappers (oh yes, I most certainly just said whippersnappers) to spearhead a new endeavor at work and, after a few days of working in the office next door to these fantastic 20-somethings one of my favorite co-workers came up to my office, a co-worker just a year or two older than me, and announced that, having witnessed youth, he wanted me to know we were "middle-aged". Bite me, Jon. I'm not middle aged. No. Just no. Because no. And bite me again for good measure.

Maybe it's that, until my 30's, I had no idea what it was to be ALIVE!

Uh...that song just totally dated me, didn't it? *sigh*

Most people have the experience of being young and carefree in their teens and twenties and only get ready to buckle down and get serious about life when they hit 30. This was not my life. I don't really remember my teens or twenties and I certainly didn't fall in love, want babies, or buy into the false sense of security that comes with a mortgage and a steady wage in my thirties. It wasn't until I'd hit my 30's before I really understood what fun was, what love was, what life was. Hell! I don't want the wife and kids and big house in the suburbs NOW.

I guess what I really want is to be 35 all the time. I loved 35. I loved all of my mid-30's. I've had the best time of my life in my mid-30's. I've had more confidence, more self-esteem, and the most mind blowing orgasms in my mid-30's. For the first time since I was a dumb teenager thinking she was worldly and wise, I actually was, you know, wise and worldly.

I'm not ready for the "slut" to become the "crone".

But I don't have much choice, I guess. I can continue to be that aging pizza delivery boy - the one who shows up, reminisces about his salad days on the football team, and wants to know where the next keg party is - the laughing stock - or I can accept that I'm 40. Middle aged. Crone.

However, the Divatologist - in her infinite wisdom and impeccable timing - just posted this to the Church of Just Stop It's Facebook page...

And I think I'm prepared to be absolutely ridiculous...especially if it means I don't have to be my mind.

Age is arbitrary, isn't it? Even when I start to suffer symptoms of peri-menopause...that's arbitrary. Right? While "crone" is appealing as I wield my zen stick - a stick I've wielded since 35 - I am also still "slut" and happily so...right?

40 is just a number.

And I can do 40 in the fast lane with only a few jackasses passing me on the right.


Unknown said...

Your forties will be fabulous! One of the important things about aging is not to take the number too seriously. It is all in our minds. Jane will overcome!
Great post, woman.

Just Jane said...

Thank you, Melanie.

Diva said...

Note: If the average U.S. lifespan is to age 74, we all passed "middle age" in our 30s. Not depressing news, just math. *smile*

My thirties were indeed amazing, but my 40s..... let's just say the world ain't seen NOTHIN' of Jane yet. Seriously. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't Crone until just relatively recently and there are 60-somethings I know who still aren't there. *shrug*

Also, when I'm of age, I am *totally* joining the Red Hat Society. I knew it the first time I read the poem that inspired it, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph (

THAT is us, beautiful lady. The number doesn't matter. The LIVING does. *hugs*

Matt said...

Hrmmm, aging. Stupid meat bodies.