This is me not writing about how today is my birthday. About how today is my 39th birthday, which is deceiving because if you think about it, yesterday was the end of my 39th year and today is the first day of my 40th year here on Earth, and, well, I’m kinda sorta standing in the foyer of 40, and that’s a lot to take in.
It’s not that I feel old, but I do feel a lot of things.
I feel these…
Thank you, glasses (for which I already need a stronger prescription), for helping to conceal my eye wrinkles.
I feel so vain even discussing this. Not be confused with the bulging and expanding varicose vein on my left calf (not photographed for your benefit). I feel that vein all the time.
I feel worried. My eyes are very dry. Like California dry. I read an article in the Sunday newspaper that said dry eyes are a little-known symptom of perimenopause. As my boys would say, What the?! I also recently read about a study that links the long term use of benzodiazepines to Alzheimer’s. As my boys would also say, Holy Christmas nuts! (I have no idea why they say this.) Since I take a benzodiazepine nightly to ward off insomnia and Alzheimer’s runs in my family, I’m feeling deeply and disturbingly concerned about this.
I feel sad. Last year on my birthday, I sat weeping in my car outside of a restaurant where I was meeting friends for lunch because our doctor at the veterinary hospital called to confirm Harry had insulinoma, a cancer in his pancreas from which he would eventually die.
I feel anxious. The time period from when Harry became sick to when he died was both endless and fleeting. I don’t want to rewrite any of it here. Honestly, I can’t. But you can read about it here and here and here and here and here. (By the way, I often reread my posts from that time. It’s comforting and proof that this blog is worth the blood, sweat, and tears.) The whole ordeal left me exhausted, depleted, on a therapist’s couch, and, for the grand finale, under the knife because I had a basal cell carcinoma, or cancer, on my face. (To be clear, Harry’s death and my basal cell carcinoma had no connection, except that when it rains it pours.) Being that I’m a thinky-feely-writey type of person, all of this has stuck with me and resurfaced as a dull and throbbing emotional ache. Boo.
I’d like to tell you that life is quieter this year, and I suppose it is if you consider that we haven’t experienced the death of a beloved pet or cancer on anyone’s face, but it’s hardly quiet. In other words, there’s always something going on with someone.
I’m opting out of a loud celebration this year. Believe me, I’m marking the occasion in small gestures, but I’m doing it all very softly and on my tippy toes because if I stay quiet, I won’t wake the baby, so to speak. If I stay quiet, maybe I can prevent something loud (i.e. bad, scary, hard) from happening. Maybe. In the silence, I’m focusing on all of my blessings and pondering carefully what I need (family, friends, good health, “The Good Wife,” and SkinnyPop) versus what I want (expensive wrinkle repair cream).
I feel a lot on this first day of my 40th year, and this is me not writing about any of it.