February 6, 2014
As ever I’m slightly delayed – but Happy Birthday!
I seriously hope you escaped the moving boxes and did something utterly indulgent…I think we (you, me, parents, women, people over 30) should go back to celebrating ourselves and our lives just a bit more – I mean just think how much effort we put in to our kids birthdays…
So your comment on belly buttons made me burst out laughing – mine features a blue and white rhinestone flower – a piercing left over from my teenage crush on Alicia Silverstone….
Its utterly cliché but I love it. I actually took it out during my first pregnancy but as soon as Boy 1 was born, I screwed it back in – since regardless of how bad it looked, I found in those first few weeks of new motherhood, I really needed a tangible reminder of the “old me.”
But seriously, why did you say actively hated turning 39? 40? And 41?
Did you hate it at the time or more in retrospect?
I’ll be 39 this year and I’m torn between an emotive worry that my life is not where it “should” and a slightly more rational recognition that 40 doesn’t mean what it used to – although what it does mean is also completely unclear to me.
I just read an article in The Atlantic on this called “The Real Roots Of Midlife Crisis”. The piece talks about the theory of the “U curve of life happiness” which is that across countries and culture, life satisfaction bottoms out in our early 40’s and 50’s and then starts to climb back up again.
An interesting point is that apes also exhibit midlife dissatisfaction – which researchers say could suggest that there is just something in our wiring which makes feelings of contentment difficult at this chronological stage – no matter how many gratitude lists we write.
That said, I’m convinced (determinedly hopeful?) that this doesn’t have to be true…more to come on this for sure.
Sigh, I hear you on imposter syndrome though: it’s so debilitating and draining –
I think part of the solution gets back to this idea of more deliberate celebration (the term “deliberate celebration” sounds incredibly unfun I know) but here’s what I mean:
Too often, I think we set a goal, then work hard to achieve it and then when we do, we don’t really take the time to celebrate what we’ve done since we are already on to the next thing.
What makes it worse is that we discount or underplay just how hard we worked to get there and so we forget that we earned this achievement– for instance, objectively consider just how much work, day after day, week after week, went into getting The Hole In The Middle to this incredible place….you earned every moment of this place.
Yes, I’m super excited to have a pen-pal again as well –
It was only as I was sitting down to write to you that I had the sudden appreciation of just how much I miss really connecting with my friends – especially with a letter.
Growing up I moved frequently (sample: grade 11 was New Jersey, grade 12: was Bahrain, grade 13: Switzerland and then onto Vancouver) and since this was all in the days before email or Skype I wrote and received letters almost daily.
I loved it but then in recent years, I have been reduced to texts or 2-3 line “action orientated” emails. And its a bit depressing, so I’m really looking forward to this.
Ok – I must go since I promised the boys I would swim with them – we have two days left on our vacation – which has been just amazing: exactly the sort of refresh that we needed after a slightly odd 2014 – what with R’s nomination campaign, my book release, the whole CBC thing and ongoing kid mania.
When I last saw you, I was really feeling like I just needed to physically leave so I could actually remind myself that the world is so much bigger that it can seem when I’m back in the city.
All of which to say: I’m sort of dreading returning…but am looking forward to seeing you when I’m back….
PS. Am sharing my favourite vacation photo – the opposite of what mornings at home look like…
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