Two days ago, it happened. I turned 40. I’m now officially old as an oak. Or maybe just old, I don’t know. I’m treating it as something like half time. 80 sounds a reasonable age. Anything beyond that is probably rather creaky and painful, unless I’ll happen to inherit some genes from my mom-in-law, who at the age of 74 still joins the kids on the trampolin, but since it’s pretty impossible to inherit something from someone you’re only related to by marriage, well, stop rambling and get to the point.
Um. I’m not sure there is one. It’s not like turning 40 suddenly infused me with wisdom and my postings will miraculously start to make sense. But I could try going for a progress report or something like that.
What I should probably mention at this point is that I utterly failed my own silly things challenge. I don’t even remember how many I accomplished, but it was definitely far from 99, and chances are, I didn’t even manage 10, unless I add ‘stupidly challenging myself to do 99 silly things’ as one more item to the list. It would be valid, yes, but… so what. I failed. Now why is that? Looking back, I can’t say it was because I acted any more careful than I would have done otherwise. In fact, I actively looked for situations in which to act silly. Then again, my own definition of ‘silly’ has changed a lot over time, and even more so over the past year. Some things that would have easily made it on the list years ago now don’t cause me to do more than shrug. Full speed with the supermarket trolley? I do that all the time, even if I don’t have the kids with me. Pretending I’m a ballet dancer when I clean the house? Sure. Vaccum cleaning is much more fun if you’re pirouetting and belting out Tori Amos. I sing on top of my lungs in the car, with the windows open, and I don’t care who hears me, and when I take the little boy to his football training (that’s soccer for you Americans), his sister and I do cartwheels on the green.
Last weekend we went to the North Sea, where the ocean completely disappears during low tide and you can walk for miles ankle-deep in the mud and find the most awesome shells, and of course we managed to go exploring at way-too-late in the evening AND about half an hour from the shore it started pissing down AND on the way back the wind started really whipping AND if it hadn’t been for the lights of the ugly hotels we would have got perfectly lost in the middle of that mud desert AND by the time we finally reached the shore, it was pitch dark and we were drenched and frozen to the bones… not silly, sorry. Necessary. The kids felt like the biggest adventurers ever, we played tag all the way back to the apartment in the dark and pouring rain, and had a hot-chocolate-and-cuddles session afterwards.
Maybe there just aren’t that many things left that seem silly at the age of 40. Maybe the amount of fucks we give really decreases over time.
There’s something else I noticed too, though: I’ve begun to occasionally stop and consider the consequences before barging headlong into silly, and if my fallout might hit someone dear, I hold back, even if the occasion is mindblowingly perfect. So maybe I did grow up a bit after all.
Just a bit.
It’s possible, right?
Whatever. Here’s a free book. Happy belated birthday to me.