"Hey Mom... did you know that you're almost 40?" came the possibly-innocent question from the backseat.
And then in my head, I did the math... "36... 37... 38... 39... 40. Holy crap, I'm almost 40. That can't be right. I'm not old enough to be 40."
And here I am. Almost-40. It's like a clock above my head, ticking off the whisper. "You're almost 40. You're almost 40. You're almost 40."
Isn't that what they call middle-aged?
I'm not ready to be that yet. In my head, I'm still young and a little bit innocent and naive. And I'm still figuring life out. I'm still figuring people out. I'm still figuring ME out. I'm still changing who I am and who I want to be. I'm still trying to find what I want to do with my life. I always thought all that stuff was supposed to be DONE by the time you got to be... old. I thought that I was supposed to have it all figured out by now.
It's not even the proverbial "But I haven't done anything with my life yet!" wail of approaching middle age. I've done good things. I've gone to college. I've married an amazing man. I've created and half-raised three beautiful daughters. I have written a lot, and while I decided pretty early on that the publishing world wasn't for me... I'm happy with what I've written and who it's touched. I've made wonderful friends and had exciting experiences.
I'm not worried about what I haven't accomplished yet. Not really. I guess I just thought I'd know me better by now. I thought I'd be the me I wanted to be. I thought I'd even know what the Me I Wanted To Be even LOOKED like better when I got to be almost-40. I thought I'd FEEL more almost-40, and less still-15.
Maybe I just did the math wrong.