I turned 40 this weekend.
After hearing my whole life what a big damn deal it is, I decided at 39 to go ahead and start saying I'm 40 to get used to the idea and the number, and this made the actual day arrive with no impact. Did anything change Saturday? No.
Seems like things happened swiftly in the last couple years, though, to make me ever aware that this loathed age was approaching....
Like all of my gray hair. Somewhere around 33 I found one gray hair, and I swear I acquired ONE more for each of the next five or six years, then I suddenly got a hundred grays in one month. And I swore I'd never care if my hair turned gray, but I did not anticipate that it would be a whole new breed of hair. Now I have straight brown hair with wiry white hairs sticking straight up out of the top of my head like antennae.
Gray Hair Grass: Apparently I'm related to this plant.
Then there's the one day I looked in the mirror and thought, "Geez, I look REALLY tired!" ...and then I just stayed that way for good.
Or each day I climb out of bed with a tiny new ache or glitch in the machine, not realizing it plans to stay forever.
Or the day the boy working at the grocery store did a freaked double-take when he looked at my face. He said, "I just saw your hair in braids and noticed you're short---I thought you were a teenager till I really looked at you just now...I didn't expect you to be, ya know, old."
Or when the doctor looks inside my stomach these days, she finds this:
Instead of this:
All that is important is making it through another year. Look at a single human's lifespan on the giant history-of-Earth timeline---see that tiny sliver devoted to me? I'd like to use every bit of that, thanks.