WARNING: MAUDLIN THINGS AHEAD. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
So it's my birthday. Not as I write this...as I sit here and clickety clack on my couch, it's still another 3 1/2 hours til I turn 47. But for all intents and purposes, it's here.
I'm really getting crazy tonight, and having a glass of wine as I say goodbye to 46. William and I went to Trader Joe's earlier this evening in pursuit of cavatappi noodles. Seriously, side note here: can anyone point me in the direction of a store that sells cavatappi noodles? The only place I can find them is in the organic section of Target...and they are always sold out.
Where was I? Oh yeah. So William and I were at Trader Joe's. We didn't find the noodles but we did run into his 4th grade teacher, a former student of mine and one of my most favorite hens in the universe. I decided that tonight would be a good night to have a little glass of wine...you know, to toast the end of another year on this planet. So we strolled over to the wine section of the store.
William was done. He huffed and puffed while I, a true Libra, waffled back and forth between the myriad of boozy choices in front of me. White? Red? A merlot? A pinot noir or grigio?
Finally, he could take no more. "Mom." he said. He always begins our conversations with that single word. I hope that never ends. "Mom...just pick one and let's go. Grab that one, right there. The one with the horse on it. YOLO, Mom."
I got YOLO'ed at Trader Joe's.
For the record, "the one with the horse on it" is a red wine with a name I can't pronounce. And it's delicious. Did I mention it was just $5.99? My boy can pick a wine. I used to think it would be awesome to have a mechanic or a dentist in the family...but a sommelier? Even better.
So here I sit. Surrounded by my boys as they watch the show "Revolution" on Netflix and do their homework, my faithful and loving companion Walter at my side. I'm sipping some good, cheap wine and yep...my eyes are brimming with tears.
REMEMBER, YOU WERE WARNED. IT'S GETTIN' ALL KINDS OF TREACLY UP IN HERE!
As we are wont to do, we "people of a certain age", I looked back on the past 365 days of my life. I'm beginning to feel the pull of not only my mortality, but of the very seconds, minutes and hours that make up life in general. It's as if someone pushed fast forward, and no matter how firmly I dig in my heels, the days are speeding by at a dizzying rate.
How is it possible that I am 47? Wasn't I just 18? 25? 40???? I catch glimpses of myself now and then. In the shiny glass of the big doors at school, in the bathroom mirror, in the window above the kitchen sink. There are things I don't like in those glimpses: the roundness of my shoulders, the frizz of the hair. But...and I think this is a gift that comes to those who age: I love most of it.
I'm happy to be alive, to be able to walk around and catch those glimpses of that frizzy-haired woman I play peek-a-boo with now and then. I'm grateful for the fact that I can hug my kids, call a friend, read a book to a 5 year old.
I'm pretty damn happy that I have 365 days to look back upon.
46 was a kick ass year. It was a year of quiet, massive change. A year of baby-steps and leaps of faith and jumping hurdles both real and imagined.
46 saw the end of a friendship or two, friendships that needed to be done. It also saw the dawning of several more that needed to begin.
46 was the year I saw my name on the Huffington Post.
46 was the year I not only dragged my shy ass into an audition, but then dragged it up on a stage in front of hundreds of people and read one of my stories. Like, OUT LOUD.
46 was the year I sat in a courtroom with my ex-husband for (hopefully) the last time. 46 was the year my kids and I saw child support for the first time in almost half a decade.
46 went to Amsterdam with a lovah.
46 then butt-dialed said lovah and just like that, he wasn't my lovah anymore. 46 was also the year I discovered that my phone is kinda smart, after all.
46 saw Lady Gaga. And loved it. The 46 year old friend who took me to see Gaga has been a pal since 6th grade. We left the concert early, to avoid traffic. The two of us 46 year olds laughed as we wondered what our teenage selves would have thought of that.
46 was the year that I wrote about my giant tampons and won an award for it.
46 was the last year I had to piece together up to 4 jobs at a time just to keep afloat. Because 46 happened to be the year I got a real job. Like, a benefits-sick-days-paid-holidays-JOB.
46 sat down at a restaurant with cousins I hadn't seen in a decade. 46 was the year I realized that blood runs deep.
46 was the year I learned so much. I loved so much. I laughed so much. I cried so much, too, because some things never change. But most of them were happy tears, which was a change. A much welcomed one at that.
Thank you, my friends, for being part of my year. Some of you have been around since the beginning, some of you have just joined the crazy. I'm grateful for all of you. 46 wouldn't have been the same if you hadn't been around.
And now, without any further ado, I would like to introduce you to 47.
I wonder what amazing things will happen this year?