Fixin' to. Is it just a Texas thing to say or does it show that I grew up in the Southern portion of the U.S.? I don't know where I picked up the habit of using the phrase. Perhaps it was during years of captivity growing up in the redneck capitol of the South. I spent 5 years on the East side of the Ouachita River, then another 5 on the West, effectively allowing both Twin Cities equal time to convince me to move elsewhere. Go Rebs! Ah, but I'm off topic.
My 40th year is fixin' to smack me in the face. Yup. I probably need Botox, microdermabrasion, a chemical peel and collagen. I already know I need to drop 20lbs, but that's an ongoing battle. Today I made a desperate call to my stylist, the sassy Kathryn who wields magic in her quest to fulfill the salon's mission to make me "dangerously beautiful". She'll hide the grays with skillful coloring and chop a bunch of hair off and I'll become, well, if not dangerously beautiful then maybe ummm carelessly attractive. As long as I'm not plain jane middle aged then it's all good.
I think it's a good idea to reflect back on life when you reach a milestone year. Please, no eye rolls. I realize most of you think I reflect too often as evidenced by comments in my archived blogs. I believe that I need to recognize where I've come from and how difficult and sometimes easy the trip has been.
I'm having a great summer. My life is in perpetual forward motion and I'm savoring the adventures. I recently spent a week with my parents, brother and sister and although it wasn't an exotic vacation, it was wonderful to be together. I didn't grow up with my oldest sister and brother, so our time together as adults is precious to us. Right before our family vacation, I spent a weekend at my twin's home in Missouri. It was great to be there although most of the trip was spent prostrate and cursing whomever passed a nasty stomach virus on to me. At least vomiting is a spectator sport in their household, so my niece and nephew didn't feel as if they hadn't seen me. Note to Kim: next house needs at least 2 full bathrooms.
My social life is, as always, a series of one exuberant event after another. It's a simple statement, but I'm happy. I've shrugged off the last of my gloominess, chased away the lingering shadows and filled myself full of the effervesence I've enjoyed in the past. The struggle was worth it.
I cherish my family and chosen family more than ever. My friends are incredible. I wouldn't be who I am today if not for my friends. When I needed a shoulder, when I vented for the thousandth time over a particular subject, when I relentlessly discussed parenthood, when I cried, when I laughed, when I needed a kick in the ass, ya'll were there. It takes a village to raise a Kay. I've profited from your support, your kindness and of course, from your no holds barred take on reality.
I still don't feel my age. It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea that on the 19th I will have had 14,600 days of life. Such a large number! It just can't be true, but it is. Since I don't feel this old, it's easy to embrace my age. I'm hellbent on making my 40th year the best I've ever had. It's a jumping off point for the next phase of my life. If I were a product, someone could stamp "New & Improved" across me.
For now I'm adopting a new outlook. Kierkegaard said it best with "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards". He also said "Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own". With that, I think 40 will be a very fine year.
A quick look back on my decades:
The 60's: Started off with a long hospital stay during which my twin claimed her spot as ruler of the pack. Lots of cloth diapers, baby food and music. Mom was fresh outta the convent and catching up on pop culture. My earliest memory is watching the televised broadcast of the first moonwalk.
The 70's: We moved around a lot. After leaving San Antonio for Friendswood, Fort Worth and the booming metropolis of Childress we finally made it to Louisiana. Lots of listening to the radio & records, probably because we only had four channels of tv. Kim & I honed our Wonder Twins powers and made a lot of memories. One that comes to mind right now is how my 2nd grade boyfriend zapped me with a cattle prod...a few weeks before he gave me my first black eye. I ditched him for a guy who ate Dog Chow nuggets, thus cementing my ability to pick good romantic partners (just lucked out with my current SO). We spent most of our free time outside, no matter what city we lived in. Elvis died and I played his "Viva Las Vegas" album for hours as a tribute to The King.
The 80's: Did I mention listening to music? And finally watching videos! Yes, back when MTV actually showed 'em. I was an 80's child, through and through. I mourned John Lennon with an AC/DC album in one hand and the B-52's in the other. My home life was so-so, but there was 4-H camp, Theatre-Forensics, FBLA, Thespian Troupe #442, livestock shows, rodeos, cruising Forsythe park, Tickled Pink and much more. Remember when Madonna had body fat? Best decision of the decade was to move to Austin with a side trip to OKC.
The 90's: Spent in debauchery, mostly. Let's sum it up: gay bars. There was a lot more to it, but it still revolved around partying.
The 2000's so far: Learning a lot, growing up finally and loving my life. Good times and not-so-great times, quick and easy lessons, long drawn out painful lessons but above all abundant laughter.