I'm 42. Fuck, I'm closer to 50 then I am to 30. Some say I should be freaking out. (Actually, that's putting it generally. People are actually asking me what I am going to do about having a baby as I get older. Chutzpah is not a lost art my friends.) But, I'm not. I'm actually quite calm about it. Maybe it's because I don't "feel" 42 (and I'm not sure what it's supposed to feel like) or look 42 (co-worker's words, not mine) or allow myself to believe that 42 is too old. Too old to marry, to have kids, to start a (newish) career, to start over. Well if you know me, you know I have something to say to people who say I am: FUCK YOU.
Well, at least that's what the old me would have said. These days, when people I have't seen in a while ask me inappropriate questions, I'm actually quite calm about it. I used to get upset and respond in a snarky way. Then I would go home and fixate on everything I wasn't accomplishing...according to other people's standards. I let the negative judgements roll over and over in my head until I was so far deep in the rabbit hole. It made for a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of failures in my head, and a lot of expectations to live up to—few of which were my very own.
So yes, this is something I am working on. My life coach gave me worksheets to help me visualize what I want for myself. In love, in work, in life. It's not a one-time worksheet deal. I add to it, I take away from it, I do it over. I get specific and sometimes allow myself to stay general. It's a WIP, just like me. But here's something I noticed while doing this: I've never done ANYTHING like this before. I've never visualized what I wanted. ME.
(if you want me to send you a blank worksheet and some directions on how to get it started, let me know. this is the BEST tool I have ever used)
See, I've never had a wedding planned out in my head. Never had the dream dress picked out for "when." I was playing with blocks and Lincoln Logs not Barbie and Ken go on a honeymoon and make babies. Maybe that had something to do with it, maybe it didn't, but I've never focused on wanting kids or not wanting kids. Being too old or past my prime. Seems I'm in good company...
"I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother. I have it much easier than any of them. That's just what it is. Doesn't mean life isn't sometimes hard. I'm just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I've done a lot. And I don't care anymore." --Cameron Diaz
Hammer, meet nail head. Thank you Cameron for making it ok to be right where we are at our age.
Right now, even as I figure what it is I want out of life (baby? marriage? career? another dog? all of it?) I'm also perfectly fucking happy right where I am. So, next time you see me, be happy for me. Maybe I don't have what you have but it's ok. There's nothing any of us should feel uncomfortable or unsuccessful about. And truth be told, there never should have been. I am also realizing that those projections were my own and no one else's.
So, I'm climbing out of that hole and I'm liking the view. It's bright here. Open. Endless. Brett Favre isn't courting me, but I'll live. Why? Because I am exactly where I want to be. And to that I say, FUCK YEAH!
(side note: Savannah Guthrie is having her first child at 42. Actually double side note: in my 'life' worksheet I actually have children—yes, plural— I am a very good mama to, and no, they're not the four legged kind ;) )