Turning 40

The late, great Aaliyah sang, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number”, yet I can’t shake the feeling that this milestone of turning 40 is supposed to be momentous, way more than just a number. I mean, I guess it has been so far. I rang in my 40th surrounded by friends, my first large group dinner in two years. During the first three weeks of turning 40, I self-published my digital chapbook, ended my parenting podcast, went on a girls’ weekend with some of my nearest and dearest, and handed in my first draft of a feature article for a national feminist magazine. That’s probably more than I did within my first month of turning 39. According to the tarot card reading that we had done on our girls’ trip, I am right where I belong in terms of my career as well as my purpose. There is nothing standing in the way of me going for it to the full extent of my go for it-ness. In terms of family, we’re not always on the same page as each other so there are some wands that need to be aligned but overall, everything looked great there too. I’m motivated. I have some goals that I’m working towards. So, why do I have this nagging feeling that there’s some meaning that I’m not fully grasping? As though the magic number 40 should come with a neon sign, fireworks, and a chorus line with jazz hands telling me that this is the most special of all the special ages that I’ve ever been. It could be the steady stream of ‘80s and ‘90s sitcoms that warned of an impending midlife crisis. I’m not particularly concerned with trading in my current life for a whole new one, nor do I feel the panic of hot flashes setting in. But I’m still left wondering, what is momentous? What does it feel like? What does it look like?