Exit Ahead for Mid-Life Crisis

So, this is the month. The dreaded month.

In just a few weeks, I’ll be forty.

I really am going back and forth on how I feel about this.
40 (forty) is the natural number following 39 and preceding 41.

There were a hell of a lot of times in my twenties, for example, where I really didn’t think I would make it to 40. My life was too messy and a time that far into the future seemed impossible.

And now, almost there.

Notwithstanding being related to the word “four” (4), 40 is spelled “forty”, and not “fourty”.

I mean, I’m glad I’ve made it this far. And I wear most of my battle scars with pride – both the physical and emotional ones. They are testaments to being a fighter even when the last thing I wanted to do was to pick myself up and keep going. Also they are a testament to just about anyone in my family who has given me a kick in the ass as needed (always followed by a hug, of course).

The letters of the word “forty” are in alphabetical order; this is the only number that has this linguistic property in English.

On the other hand, there are certainly a lot of things I’d always assumed I’d have done by forty. Even up to about six months ago, I felt like there was still time to accomplish some things.

Forty is the caliber of the bullet in the .40 S&W handgun cartridge

For sure I thought I’d have been married by now. I think that’s the killer one – how’d I get this far without getting hitched? Yeah, I was doing stuff. Yeah, I was living. But then somewhere in there I let that one get away from me. When one of my best buds got hitched last summer, months before her 40th, I thought…okay, I still got time. But I’m going to have to have a love-at-first-sight-fly-to-Vegas experience in the next few weeks to beat the mark. Takers? I’m kind of leaning towards guys with beards these days. FYI.

Forty is the number of years of marriage to the ruby wedding anniversary.

And to follow that up, I thought I’d definitely have at least one kid by now. Instead of continuing to be the coolest babysitter in the southeast. Granted I was never keen on the whole popping a watermelon out my my hooha, that sounds like it might leave a mark. And while I appreciate all the ‘just adopt’ suggestions, unless they start coming with donations…well, that’s kind of not a financial option. Plus I still have that whole ‘babies get up early’ thing to be afraid of.

Forty is the number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy, counting from the woman’s last cycle.

I was pretty sure that by the time I was forty I’d have an actual career – rather than just a job. But I’m actually not convinced that this is a bad thing. Yes, I could be president of this company or that company or at least on the fast track to the top…but who needs that kind of pressure? I imagine with a career I’d have so much less time for my friends, tennis, pets and family. So I feel pretty good about making a paycheck to pay for my fun. However…a bigger paycheck for more fun would not be turned down. Unless it requires wearing pantyhose.

Forty is the customary number of hours in a regular workweek in some Western countries. The song, “40 Hour Week (For a Livin’)” by Alabama (as well as their album, 40-Hour Week), takes its name from the standard workweek length.

On the other hand, I’ve done a lot over in the last decade that I never could have predicted in my twenties. If you’d asked me ten years ago whether I’d ever travel outside the country, I’d have told you to lay off the drugs. There was no way you’d ever catch this gal on a plane for that long. Or willingly in places where I could get lost without the ability to speak the language. But now I have a long list of countries visited and cultures loved. And I’d hop on a plane tomorrow to just about anywhere in the name of adventure.

Forty is the code for direct dial international phone calls to Romania

This year I’m taking spring break to Burbank, California. I’d never have done that ten years ago. But, hey, you meet someone with a house in Burbank who offers up a bed and an open invitation – you take them up on it.

Interstate 40 is a freeway that runs from California to North Carolina

I do have my own, self-bought townhouse, which I am super proud of. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m sending the check each month. Sure, I always thought my ‘first house’ would be purchased with Prince William or the like. But I did it myself and I have power tools and can change out lights and saw stuff and paint stuff and unclog toilets and I think that’s pretty dang impressive. I mean, if William’s more into the Kate type, who am I to judge?

WD-40 is a spray lubricant. 40 is also the number of hours it’s probably going to take to paint my kitchen before my 40th birthday party guests arrive.

I never have to fight anyone for the covers. Well any human – there’s still the dog and cat to contend with, but they really don’t mean to hog the whole bed. I can watch whatever I want on tv, eat when I want, be lazy when I want, get up and go when I want. There is something to be said for life on your own.

Forty winks means a short sleep

Let’s face it. Forty is everywhere. I can’t hide from it. I can’t ignore it. It’s a coming.

“40” is a 1983 song by U2 from their album War. Which I saw them sing in concert.

The radio program Rick Dees’ Weekly Top 40. Rick Dees started out at 680 WPTF – where I worked many years after – but I did get to meet him there at a reunion.

$40 a Day is the title of the Food Network show. Who spends $40 a day on food? Or does that include cocktails?

Red Dye #40 is the name of the food additive, commonly known as Red 40. This is also know as Red Bull for Kids. In my experience. If you don’t believe me, load someone else’s kid up with red Kool-Aid. Trust me, if you give it to your own kid, you’ll be sorry in eight hours when they are still bouncing off various walls.

40 is the number of thieves in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, from Thousand and One Nights (both the numbers 40 and 1001 are more likely to mean “many” than to indicate a specific number). Wait, what? Does this insinuate I am many years old?

40 percent alcohol by volume is what many distilled alcoholic beverages contain (such as vodka). To quote Charlie Sheen, “Winner!”

UB40 is a form for those claiming unemployment benefits in the United Kingdom. The band UB40 was named after this form. Well, right. Now I feel old.

The M40 is a United States military gas mask. I’m almost 40. And I still think farting is funny. I’m assuming this isn’t affecting my single hood in anyway,.

I guess it’s just inevitable. It’s around the corner.

I may as well dive into it, right?

And continue telling people I’m 27.

One thought on “Exit Ahead for Mid-Life Crisis

  1. Jyl, amen, sister. Been there, thought that. Strangely 45 is a harder number for me than 40. I could have written 80% of your content as my own. Again, well done. About the \”adopt thing\” it has been the best, but sometimes scariest thing (like all paths to parenthood). But it is not for everyone. I would like very much to do lunch some time.

    Like

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