I am turning forty years old this May. Turning forty feels as if I am reaching some kind of threshold, a new door that I am going to open, a milestone if you will.
Now, let’s talk about my birthdays for a second. I hate my birthdays not because I am afraid to turn older, but because I always feel lonely. And I cry a lot. I sob. I indulge in self-pity and misery. Yes, I love to feel gloomy on my birthdays. My birthday is the saddest day of the year.
Of course, there is a sadistic side to all of this because Beaker fears my upcoming birthdays like a tsunami. Or an emotional earthquake. He gets neurotic convulsions when he hears the word “birthday.” He does not know what to do with his wife who lays in bed, tears pouring down her face, blank eyes focused on the ceiling.
This year I told myself everything is going to be different. I am not going to shed any tears. I am not going to feel lonely and wretched. I am going to enter my forties with maturity. Maybe even some wisdom. After all, I learned quite a few things in life. As you get older, you start to pay less attention to people and more attention to yourself. Maybe it is self-centric. Maybe it is wise.
I embraced that:
It is okay to cry in public.
It is okay to take risks and lose.
It is okay to lose friends.
It is okay to make mistakes and admit it.
It is okay to fall down, get up and fall down again. You’ll live.
It is okay to ask for what you really want.
It is okay to say “no” to your family.
It is okay to take things at your own pace.
It is okay to be you.
Some people have their shit together by age thirty. Or twenty. Or in kindergarden. I am definitely not one of them. By age thirty I got one divorce behind me, fully developed a shopping addiction, racked up credit cards and debt up to my eyeballs. Ten years later and I am doing much better: happily married second time around, much less debt, my shopping addiction is under some sort of control, and I have no credit card debt. So, even though, I am behind some of you, I am still on track. Sort of.
My forties approaching, I decided to set up some short-term goals for myself. I am not a long-term goals person. I like sprints! This is what I want to achieve by May in two most important and weak areas of my life: financial and fitness.
- Increase my retirement savings by at least $200-$250 a month. I do plan to retire one day. I want to retire sooner than later. I will let you in on a little secret of mine: I want to start investing soon. Not now, no, but soon.
- I set myself a goal of no shopping this year. That in itself should help me to save some additional money. Which leads to the next goal.
- Save up a small emergency fund of $3,000. I am not sure if I can do it by May with tax season approaching and our bathroom slowly falling apart, but the least I can do is try.
- There is not much you can do about your skin when you turn forty. You get what you get. Say thank you to smoking, sun tanning and drinking till the wee hours of the night in your youth. The least I can do now is stay hydrated at all times and get enough sleep. Therefore, I will try to be in bed by nine every night, so that I can read till ten, and fall asleep at a decent time.
- I don’t want to become fat. I, honestly, think I am on my way there. I hate working out and lifting weights. Instead of sweating it off in our gym’s weight room, I decided that I want to become a runner. I want to face my hatred of running and conquer it. I am planning on counting miles, and probably bore you with it on this blog. I am also planning to run my first 5K this April.
That’s it for now. Sorry for the long post. Turning forty is serious shit!