So a few weeks ago, with little fanfare, in between business trips, I turned 44.
Quite literally, I stepped off a plane on January 13th, was home (on my birthday) for a few hours on the 14th, and at 6AM on the 15th was headed back to an airport for my next trip. It didn't really bother me much since I don't much like celebrating my birthday. I don't know why. Since I outgrew the age of slumber parties or the desire to drink until I fall down, there doesn't seem to be much point. Nowadays I recognize the date more for my mother than for myself.
I have to say the number 44 is astonishing to me. The time has flown by so quickly. I don't really remember moving from teenager to 20's to 30's and now nearly mid-way through my 40's. I measure my life more in decades than in years nowadays. Having been with my husband now since we were 19, it's mind-boggling to realize he has been with me longer than I was independent of him. We were married in 1989 when I was 22 and he was 23. So next year, at 45 I will have been under his last name longer than the one I was born with. That's crazy talk!
On January 23rd, I spoke with my mother and at the end of our conversation she reminded me that it was my father's birthday and that, were he still with us, he would be 85. We lost him over 7 years ago now, which is another eye-opening fact to me.
I remember the first time I ever heard the old adage about stopping to smell the roses. I finally feel I understand it. I agree it is important to pause and enjoy life a little, but man oh man, life has a way of taking on its own pace without consulting me.
So often, when I do stop for a moment, it is in the mode of total collapse, not a moment of reflection, observation, or appreciation. It takes effort to pause and instead of tuning out, tune in on a whole new level.
So, 44, here I am a couple weeks later taking my moment to reflect. Life ain't so bad. This guy of mine has stuck around and strangely enough, despite it all, we seem to actually still be in love. This job of mine is a pain in the butt sometimes, but it's given me a lot of reward and appreciation and some damn fine friends and colleagues. This blog thing has fits and starts, but it provides me with an outlet and a memory storehouse that I treasure. This little Yellow Cottage of ours needs some attention (as does my blog about it), but it is cozy and warm and full of love and friendship.
It's O.K., this 44 number....onward to 45.