Archive for April, 2008

Hey – I’m 40!

So here I am.

40.

Finally.

But, I don’t feel any different.

These are the same arms and legs and hands and feet and eyes and nose and ears and hair as I had yesterday and the day before.

This is the same apartment I woke up in yesterday and the day before.

My closet is still full of my clothes.

My fridge is still empty.

I don’t feel less young or more mature than I did yesterday and the day before.

But somehow, almost magically, I am different. 

Now, when I tell people my age, I won’t get that look of pity.  Aw, poor thing.  She’s 39.  It’s all down hill from here. 

Now, when I tell people my age, I’ll get a look of surprise and words of congratulations.  (I know because I tried it out on some strangers.  A focus group, if you will.  Being 40 tested really high.)

When I’m filling out forms or questionaires, I’ll be in a different age group.

Rather than being the oldest in my running age group (30 – 39), I’ll be the youngest (40 – 49).

There’s something sexy about being 40.

There’s something empowering about being 40.

If I knew it was going to feel this good, I would have done it years ago.

 

 

 

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My last day as a 39 year old

Whew!  Thank god! (or unspecified deity of your choice) 

Being 39 has been really weird.  39 is more of an age limbo than 29 or 20 or 15 or 12 or any of the other threshold ages I’ve been through so far.  It doesn’t matter how good you look, how successful or happy you are, when you’re 39, people look at you like you’re desperately clinging to something that’s passed.  As if you have a choice or that you would choose otherwise if you did.

Some women lie about their age.  Some women’s friends do it for them.  For my birthday last year, I invited a bunch of friends to go out to dinner — no big deal, no balloons or strippers or expensive presents.  Just a fun dinner at one of my favorite Thai restaurants (that just happens to give you free dinner on your birthday).  After I sent the email invitation, some friends had a little fun with it by starting the rumor that I was turning 40.  Most knew that wasn’t true, but some didn’t.  “Wow – you’re 40?” they asked.  And they would proceed to tell me their own perspective on turning 40.  They were almost apologetic, yet oddly supportive, as if I had been given bad news.  It’s really not that bad, sweetie.  Or, Look at me.  I turned 40 and I lived through it.  Tired of hearing it, I just started telling everyone I was 50.  That‘ll show ’em.

Here’s an email exchange with a co-worker: 

From: TW
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:09 PM
To: AS
Subject: RE: Staff Retreat

fair warning:  all of april is bad for me b/c i’m turning 40 and will pretty much be unbearable and useless for most of the month.  it’s kinda like turning 16 again, but this time i have a credit card and no curfew.  🙂
 

 

From: AS
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:12 PM
To: TW
Subject: RE: Staff Retreat
That’s awesome!  When my mom turned 40 my dad threw her a surprise party at our house.  The entire party she was worrying about the fact that she hadn’t dusted the furniture before everyone came over and didn’t have a good time at all.  I like your approach better!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40+ Women: Janeane Garofalo

She’s outspoken.

She’s fearless.

She’s driven.

She’s smart.

She’s fierce.

She’s funny.

She has style.

She’s pro-choice.

She’s kinda complicated.

She wears bunny ears for no reason.

She also wears whatever the hell she wants.

She has tattoos on her arms. (wish i was brave enough to do that…)

She’s really pretty, but doesn’t let anyone get away with reducing her to her looks.

She’s a reluctant celebrity and walked away from a TV and movie career to be a full time advocate.

 

 

She’s 43, but doing it in her own way.

Rock on, JG.

 

 

 

 

 

Stop thinking!

Have you ever noticed how women often start a comment with, “I think…?”  As in, “I think we should consider blah, blah, blah.”  Or, “I think the problem is…”  Or, “I think, the way to go would be…”  This is particularly true in professional settings, such as meetings.

Psychologists would tell us this is because women are hesitant to say what what they want to say, so they soften it with “I think.”  We couldn’t possibly be capable of making a declaration or offering a valuable perspective, right?  When you preface your statement with “I think,” you leave the door open for the next person to say, “I think (the opposite)” or “I think (you’re wrong.)”  And if they do, you’re safe because you qualified your statement with “I think.”

Until recently, I was guilty of prefacing my statements with “I think” or some other buffer.  When I began noticing this trait in other women and recognized how it weakened whatever they said after it, I made a conscious effort to remove it from my speech. 

The next time you’re in a meeting, stop and think before you say, “I think.”  If it’s worth saying, don’t put any qualifiers around it.  Start your sentence with, well, just say what you want to say. 

 

 

i love it, but i hate the taste

 

 

 

Nothing of me is original. 

I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.

Chuck Palahniuk
Invisible Monsters, 1999

 

Belief without proof is no virtue. 

Insisting on proof is no vice.