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My nightly routine has multiple steps these days. I pee, brush and floss, wash my face, inspect the mirror for evidence of new gray hairs (I’m up to 7 now!), pee again (you can never pee too many times), put in my mouth guard (I’m a stress related nighttime teeth clencher), put on my wrist guard (I seem to have Candy Crushed my way into a carpal tunnel flare up), and then slip into something soft and faded to sleep in.

I turned 40 last week and sometimes I feel it.

Inside, of course, I don’t feel any older than I did before, though I’m aware that I’m more steady and less critical of myself than I was 10 years ago. In the weeks leading up to my birthday I wasn’t sure if turning 40 would bug me. I sort of felt like it should, but maybe only because I’m a woman who lives in a particular culture that values women who are 22 over women who are 40. Which, with all due respect to any 22 year olds reading this, is total bullshit. I have zero desire to be 22 again. The truth is that my 30s were better than my 20s and my 20s were WAY better than my teens, so I feel like there is good reason to be optimistic about the next decade.

I celebrated my birthday by going out to dinner and then a Beyonce and Jay-Z concert with a group of friends. We ate kalbi at a Korean place and then danced and danced at the concert. I got home after midnight, tired and vowing to do more squats (Beyonce, man. Beyonce is legit inspiring when it comes to what the power of strong thighs and booty can do). The next day I left for four days in a cabin with my family. So far 40 means: good friends, enough financial security to swing concert tickets and a cabin rental, a marriage that feels stable and safe, two kids who make me laugh and who are still young enough to think that playing in the lake with me for two hours is the best possible way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If I live as long as my parents (who are still alive) and grandparents I’m almost at the halfway point of my life. I’m not sure what I make of that thought. I just know that right now, I’m happy.


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