Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turning 40

Yep, this is the year I turn the big 4-D. The fabulous fore-oh. Four. Zero. 40. Not that birthdays are a big deal, but the turn of a decade is something to celebrate, don't ya think?

In my thirtieth birthday year, I delivered my second son at a home birth with the help of midwives (and my partner of course), took the year off from work, got married (oh my god, did I really play Celine Dion at our beach BBQ bonfire wedding???), sold my car (bought a mini motorhome), gave up our rental apartment behind Toys R Us, got married (oops, already mentioned that... loss of memory is a sign of getting older, like forty old) and drove away to Mexico.... stopping all over Western Canada, USA, France, Germany (Oktoberfest!!!) and the Czech Republic along the way.

I bought a red hot bikini and wore mini skirts on the beach. I got drunk in a bar in San Francisco and lost my wedding ring. Then found it. Then lost it again. (Losing things is another sign of age....sigh.) I swam in the Mississippi and the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. I swam close to alligators. I climbed into the Grand Canyon.

I played with my kids, Paris and Kje, every day, which was a rule. I was rescued off  Zipolite, a.k.a. "beach of the dead," by a sun-kissed surfer and drank coconut juice from free coconuts my husband climbed trees for and cut down with his machete. Did I mention the hammock? Ah.... the wake-up-when-the-sun-wants-you-to, barefoot good life.

Earlier this year, my friend Andy came up with an idea to create a list of 10 things we wanted to do within our fortieth year. I knew I wanted this year to really set the stage for the next decade, kinda like my thirtieth year did, so doing something big was in order. The problem was, whenever I thought of something I wanted to do, like a concert or a weekend away, it didn't seem big enough to put on a list, so I just went ahead and did it. I bought the tickets or booked the flight. Suddenly, three months have gone by and I have come to realize my big year will be full of a bunch of little things that make me happy. 

But the best little thing I have done so far is come up with my personal motto for the year:

"I will do anything and everything I want, and pay for the fun when I'm forty-one."

I kinda like that.

Fortunately for me, my supportive husband does too.

Last week, my friend Kim and I were talking about nudity. You know, like how cute kids are when they do silly things when they are young and naked and no care in the world if anyone sees their teenie-weenie peenie. She has a four-year-old boy, and the story goes, he was all into being naked around the house, (including starfish position standing in front of the living room window) and then one day he says to her:

"Today's the day I am going to eat my soup naked."

I love it!! How much fun is that?

So there you have it folks, my fortieth year. The year and I am going to fill my weeks and weekends with way too much to do. Or... not get out of bed at all. The year of living life, playing too hard, slowing down, creating memories, making connections and doing what I want, when I want, how I want, why I want, where I want, with who I want. I am going to jam in all those things I have always wanted to do... if I still want to do them of course....into 365 days, give or take. (It's my birthday year and I get to decide when it's over.)

This is the year of eating my soup naked.

Instead of sharing the full list with you now, I will start to blog about what I've been doing. But here's a few categories to give you a sense:

1. Family & Friends
2. Travel
3. Music
4. Photography
5. Parties
6. Health
7. Small stuff to make me smile

And there is one really, really big one for my favourite number:

8. Write a novel.

And with that start, more on Turning 40 later..... when I get back from the weekend party with friends in San Francisco.


andi said...

I totally forgot about you losing (and finding) the wedding ring while we were seeing Carlos play at that dive bar ... all the while taking turns babysitting kje in the Bar's parking lot!

... and THAT is the beauty of flexible friends and a motorhome!

Anita said...

A wonderful, inspiring post, Susan! I started a "40 things to do before I'm 50" list in honour of that landmark, and I'm doing pretty well with it as I approach 44 in May. Checked off so far:
* Write every day (doing it with!)
* Reduce stress (since April 2010, oh yeah!)
* Own a bookstore (okay, it's online, but still...)
* Work from home
* Go zip-lining
* Transform my garden (front yard done, rest in progress...)
* See Eddie Izzard live (god, how I laughed!)
* See more Cirque du Soleil shows
* Go to Europe for the first time! (Paris ROCKED!)
* See the Grand Canyon (going next WEEK!)
And so on.
I have no doubt whatsoever that you will be forty and *fabulous*, my friend. And you'll do it YOUR way. :)

susan said...

You said it Andi - all we need in life is friends and a motorhome!

Heck Anita, if I even get close to your stellar track record, I will quit while I'm ahead and spend my days wandering aimlessly with a big grin on my face. You are such an inspiration!