Embrace It




November 15 , 1999

OK, so tomorrow I turn 40. There are two ways to go with this whole birthday/40 thing: embrace it, or not.

There are a lot of things at work here.

40 sounds so ominous. Like I should have arrived. Like I should know what the hell I want to do with myself when I grow up. Like I should be a grownup. Like I should have grown (or at least teen age) children. Like I should know who I am. Like I should have the answers--at least some of them.

Instead, I'm none of the above. I still feel like I'm searching. I don't know what I want to be. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter, and we're trying desperately to have another. A baby at 40. What the hell am I thinking????? Some days I know who I am. Other days I'm floundering. And I know some of the answers, but not to the significant questions.

That doesn't sound too brilliant does it?

But I think I'm OK with this.

I often use the time around my birthday for some deep introspection. I then find myself really depressed. Look at all the things I haven't accomplished. Look at how far I haven't come. Look at what still needs to be done.

This year I'm taking a new approach. I figured: what the hell. It's not like all that introspection and depression was working for me anyway.

This year I've decided to embrace it all.

I threw myself a little birthday party. I surrounded myself with old friends and new ones. People I know and who know me. I mean really know me. Have seen me through all the dramas, tears, laughter and happiness. Dear friends who've remained friends through it all. New friends. People I'd like to know better. People who I think have a lot to offer because they're kind, smart, worthwhile, interesting individuals. People who are the kind of person I'd like to be like. People who at least seem to be at peace with themselves and the world around them.

The stars seemed to be aligned for my party and this new approach to birthdays.

The weather cooperated. If it rains in LA no one goes out--it was a perfect night: cool and clear.

I hired help for the evening: a bartender and server person. Let me say this about that: a definite must in life. I swear I was born to be served. I used a company called Be A Guest At Your Own Party. The help did a fabulous job. I was going to have them cater the whole thing but then I got the estimate. HA! I was feeling flush when I started calling around for catering--until I started to see what it was going to cost me for the kinds of things I wanted. I settled on scaling down and just having people help me. I will never do another party in my life without hired help. Hors d'ouevres were served, the table arranged, drinks poured, and by the time they left the house was clean, the trash was taken out, and leftovers neatly packaged. I was able to be a guest at my own party. You gotta love that.

Sister #2 made a cake. When it came time to sing the song--you know the one, I'm usually a shrinking violet. I don't normally like all that attention--especially attention focused on getting older. Again, I chose to embrace it this year. It really works!

Having a party wasn't about getting gifts. It was about sharing my day and my life with people I care about and making me feel good. It seemed to work.

So tomorrow, November 16, is the big day. I will turn 40. Like turning 30, which I started worrying about around 27, I've been dreading this birthday for a couple of years. Then, just like 30, about six months ago it stopped being an issue. Does this mean I'm growing up?

The thing though about having a party three days before the actual day of your birthday is that I'm thinking tomorrow will be majorly anti-climatic. All the well-wishing and festivities happened three days ago. I guess that remains to be seen.

For those of you keeping track...I've been doing this hormone thing for a little over a week now. While these shots seem to hurt more than the other little hormonal cocktail, there seem to be fewer emotional side effects. This is a very good thing.

Anyway, tomorrow, my birthday, is the day we're scheduled to go in for our insemination. Think of me tomorrow--not just because it's my birthday but ohm for Chuck's little swimmers to hit the target! I will say that would be the absolutely best birthday present I could ever get.

Until next time. . .

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