Sunday, October 19, 2014

If I See One Black Balloon, Someone is Going to Bleed (or Bittersweet Cheesecake Coma)

So a few hours ago (yes, I counted it down in hours), I turned a corner.  Birthdays are usually not too big a deal, but turning 40 – well, it’s hard to escape the monumental nature of the number.  Mostly because no one will let you forget how big a deal it is!  I suppose it IS a big deal.  See, this is where being one of the oldest in your school class comes back to bite you in the butt.  First to become a teenager?  Woo-hoo!  First to drive?  Yes!  First to hit (hard swallow) 40?!  Ugh.  C'est la stinkin' vie.

I’m kidding (mostly).  I know that every day of breath is a blessed gift, no matter what age bracket you find yourself bumped into on surveys and questionnaires.

But now I’ve entered a phase in my life where I remember things in terms of decades.   The last decade, my 30s, held some really hard things:  we lost both of our moms unexpectedly and a precious young nephew, dealt with walking our kids through a traumatic move, endured some minor health issues that caused major lingering anxiety.  But my thirties also brought the birth of my favorite little superhero (i.e. son), seeing my girls give their lives to the God who gave those lives to them, a reborn passion for writing and creating music and a ridiculous number of enriching friendships.  

I’m not sure why there’s so much talk about one specific event in which a poor soul goes irrevocably over the hill, because all of life seems to be a continuous cycle of hills and valleys. The more “experienced” I get, the more aware I become that the Light shines on the trenches and the mountaintops just the same.  It may take more determination to see it at those times of low elevation, but I promise it’s there.  He is there.

So we’ll see what the next (another hard swallow) decade holds.  When I turned over that last number ending in zero, I never could have imagined I would be where/who I am today.  By 50, whew, only God knows – literally.  I’m sure glad He does.

And now to wrap up the pity-party, praise-session, minor-overindulgence-in-oreo-cheesecake that has been my 40th October 19th on this planet, here’s some lyrics from a song I’ve been trying to finish writing for months now (mainly because it’s riddled with cheesy lines that I can’t seem to iron out).  It may not ever get finished, so consider it a poem of sorts, or maybe a self-pep-talk.  Say “amen” if you agree, or write it off as a foolish amount of metaphorical dribble, but either way it’s purely cathartic.  It IS my birthday, after all.

I don’t mind being vintage.  Let’s all get old together, friends.


I see a hill on the horizon
A precipice, a landmark in my life
And I’ve watched my feet slowly risin’
To take the summit and tiptoe on the other side
Legend has warned me
Magazines informed me
That it’s all downhill from here
But I’ll tell you forty ain’t fatal
I’m just now shifting gears

Time may be painting my highlights
And carving out these lines around my lips
And the sweet taste of living this high life
Has left some soft spots of the edges of my . . . heart ;)
But this stretchy skin
I’m getting comfy in it
And getting to know the real me
So I’ll tell you forty ain’t fatal
Unless you let it be

***Peace, blessings and birthday cake, y’all!