I will be turning 45 this summer. For some reason, this transition seems more significant than my 40th birthday. I guess it just seems so very grown-up; closing in on 50 being part of it, I’m sure. Turning 40 seemed to be something for which I was prepared…”I’m almost 40 years old” was part of my vocabulary of phrases starting shortly after I turned 36, if I recall correctly. I saw turning 40 as the boundary line for putting up with nonsense…as in “I don’t have to put up with that; I am almost 40 years old.” 40 said I am free to be my own person…who cares what others think. 40 was a reasonable midway point, 80 being a realistic lifespan for a healthy woman of my generation. 90 seems a little more like wishful thinking, so 45 appears to be on the back side of that halfway point. 45 has kind of snuck up on me and I wonder how 5 years passed by without me noticing.
45 feels more like I better get focused, quit wasting time. Occasions when I think “someday I will ______” seem more pressing as 45 approaches. No more allowances for potential, now it is time for “if not now, when?” I know that people go back to school at 60 and learn new skills at 70, but the likelihood of teaching this “old dog new tricks” decreases as the years pass, especially for a procrastinator like me. Someday I want to learn to REALLY play the guitar and piano (I mess around a little with both.) Someday I want to write a book, study Greek, sing that awesome song I’ve always wanted to sing. Someday I want to go to Italy and Spain and Greece and a thousand other places I’ve read about in books. Someday I want to read the classics that I haven’t gotten to you yet. Someday I want to live at the beach. You get the picture, we all have those things we want to do “someday.” The approach of my 45th birthday makes me wonder when someday begins.
In 5 years, I will turn 50 and send my youngest off to college all in the same month. These past 5 years simply FLEW by; I am assuming the next 5 years will pass just as quickly. As I watch my girls grow up exponentially faster with each passing year, it occurs to me that I want to live my life very purposefully and very intentionally while they are still watching. What are they learning from us about the ways that we spend our time, choose our priorities, live our lives? What do they know about being a woman from watching me muddle my way through this life? What will they remember about this part of their journeys that they will carry with them in their emotional and spiritual DNA for the rest of their lives?