Warning: This is likely to be bit cheeky and long but won’t you come, take a walk with me down four decades of my own memory lane.
Decade One- I was given life (which in my case really is an extra special miracle because my mom’s doctor told her to abort me- true story). Earliest memory: sitting near my mom as she whipped up another perfect item on her Singer sewing machine. Copious amounts of pb & j’s were consumed as well as a variety of foods cooked in bacon grease. At the age of 6, the family moved to the boonies where I spent the rest of an uneventful early childhood. First decade dreams: simple girlish fancies: lovely play things, sibling & parent love, a new Barbie, more Nancy Drew books.
Decade Two- Totally tubular preteen & teen years spent doing like the raddest stuff ever: sleepovers, pigging out on ice cream, dancing to my personal mix tape of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, LL Cool J, Madonna, et al. I was all over the place emotionally & stylistically: one day depressed emo girl, one day sunny SoCal surfer chick, one day laid back gypsy boho. Tragic to this decade would be the diagnosis of my mom’s 10-year cancer battle. Tremendous to this decade- married my college sweetheart at the ripe old age of 19! Second decade dreams: a boy to call my own (check), a friend to laugh with (lots of checks), be done with the misery called “high school” & embark on a bright future.
Decade Three- Words to sum up this decade would be: CRAZY, BUSY, SLEEP DEPRIVED and HARD LESSONS. Birthing 3 babes in 10 years is a feat of epic proportions! Oh and add wifehood- the “hood” so often over romanticized, sexually glamorized and morally idolized. The honeymoon was over before our honeymoon was over and ay caramba I had a whole lotta learnin’ to do! Being a wife and mommy opened my eyes to many short comings in myself, but BY THE GRACE of God, I made it out alive! My babies grew and I grew. Third decade dreams: SLEEP (a lot of it), peace and quiet, no more poopy diapers and becoming more than just a better Betty Crocker wife.
Decade Four- I remember turning 30 like it was yesterday! With my 20’s over, I was sure that life was spiraling quickly downward. (I stopped short of preparing my eulogy though!) Halfway through, I was diagnosed with a congenital hip defect that required major reconstructive surgery. Can I just say for the record- THAT SUCKED BIG TIME!? Yes, if I thought the last decade was hard, this one was too- in totally different ways- a complicated, intricate web of both beauty and beast. Poopy diapers and loss of sleep has nothing on raising teenagers into adulthood either!
As decade four draws to a close, I am strangely overcome with a transcendent feeling of calm. Like never before, I am at peace with myself, confident of my (more) saggy skin, my more ample thighs and very graying hair. And my dreams? They are bigger and brighter than ever!
I want to dig deeper intellectually. I want to live stronger emotionally and physically. I want to give more time to people who are needy and less to myself. I want to be free of shackles like caring more than I should what other people think of me and being afraid to try new stuff. I want my love for God to grow so pervasive, that it fills me up and spills out everywhere.
Here’s to my forties!!!