When I saw the movie “When Harry Met Sally” back in 1989 with Dawn (when she spilled about 1/2 pound of M&Ms all over the already-dirty theater floor), I had a good laugh at the scene where Meg Ryan, as Sally, was sobbing on Billy Crystal’s (as Harry) shoulder when she found out that her ex-fiance’ was newly engaged to someone else. On top of all the woes that come with that situation, she exclaimed, “And I’m gonna be forty!”
Harry looks at her, confused: “When?”
“Someday!” She cried.
Yeah. Ha ha. Very funny.
Back then, I was–let’s do the math, Nukedad–twenty-one. I couldn’t even imagine what it could be like to be in your mid-thirties and totally freak about turning forty. Luckily, I didn’t freak out in my mid-thirties. I think, if I were to give an honest assessment, I only started a slow-burn sort of freak out a couple of months ago. Freak out? Gah, I don’t even know if that’s the right term for it. I’m not going through a middle-age crisis or anything like that; I’ve touched on it here once or twice: I think I’m just pissed.
I don’t feel like what I perceive “Forty” to feel like. I feel at least ten, if not fifteen, years younger than that. But I’m not. I have rampant emotions about this whole birthday thing. Thirty? No sweat. Awesome year. Forty? Well, let’s just say that Forty and I have to get to know each other a little better before I’m totally comfortable.
I’ve obviously been spending lots of time thinking about this milestone, and analyzing. And over-analyzing. I’ve discovered something. Going through the rest of my life kicking and screaming about getting older is not going to work for me. Besides the fact that it’s totally not behavior that fits a tiara-wearing gal like me, I think that I might prematurely age into a cranky old woman if I continue this nonsense. An attitude change is totally in order.
So now, on this momentous occasion, I am going to take the advice I have given sooooo many times to friends of mine. I am going to count my blessings instead of my age. And I do have so many. Bear with me; here are forty of them. (Dawn: I totally started this post probably while you were sending that lovely e-mail! Great minds!) The list includes things/people I am thankful for and other things I am proud of. (and yes, eventually I will roll alot of this into one of those stupid “100 things about me” lists…)
1. My best friend who is also my husband. He’s my rock.
2. My boys. I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am.
3. My sister. Love her long time!
4. My parents. Raised me well.
5. My sweet baby doggie. She’s a devil.
6. My friends: all of em!
7. I am healthy.
8. My family is healthy.
9. I have a roof over my head, a vehicle that works 85% of the time, clothing, and food.
10. I live in a great town.
11. I have a great community at our temple.
12. I am smart.
13. I have published a book.
14. I am a successful magazine writer.
15. I am a pretty decent group fitness instructor.
16. I am a good friend.
17. I have learned to stand up for myself.
18. I know the importance of putting family first.
19. I am a good mom.
20. I am reliable.
21. I care about doing my best.
22. I am not afraid to make mistakes.
23. I don’t mind being wrong.
24. Or admitting it.
25. I am an excellent baker.
26. I can put together a great spin cd.
27. I can stay calm when it matters.
28. I make friends very easily.
29. I am really good at mingling when at parties.
30. I know how to have fun doing group dances like the Electric Slide or, Taj’s favorite, the Cha Cha Slide.
31. I almost forgot…I still have 20/20 vision.
32. I live 20 minutes from one of the greatest cities in the world.
33. I have a job that gives me great flexibility.
34. I have a nice phone voice.
35. I have very nice caramel-colored eyes.
36. I feel loved everyday.
37. I can almost always laugh at myself.
38. I consider others’ feelings.
39. I am trustworthy.
40. I feel young, the majority of the time.
I already have had a lovely pre-birthday couple of days which I will–of course–write about in due time. More blessings, more love. In the meantime, I’m going to roll with this birthday thing.
So, Forty? Look out, because I’m going to totally kick your a$$.
You Melisa, may be almost 40, but you are a totally awesome chick that I would hang out with any day of the week. Age means nothing at all anymore! You are smart, a great writer, friend, mom, wife. You’re cool and not in that trying to hard way. Heck, I adore everything about you that I know of. Keep on rockin’ it darlin’!
k a t i e
Firstly…Happy, HAPPY Birthday!
The post was wonderful – and just so you know, when we first ‘met’, I honestly and whole-heartedly thought you were in your late twenties for months.
You need to add one to your list.
41. Can have a conversation with people of ANY age.
This was always one thing my mother instilled in me – sure, it’s great having friends of your own age, but to be able to span generations and chat just as easily with someone 5, ten, twenty years your junior or senior shows what a fun, easy going and intelligent person you must be. You got it Big Sis!
Happy Birthday Melisa! You are totally gonna kick 40’s ass. Heck you’re gonna kill it!
You’re the best friend and parent and sister anyone could ever wish for and you are so much fun. So much so that I want to be just like you when I turn 40 (tho I can’t be sure yet if I can be as cool as you about it)
House of Jules
Happy Birthday, Missy! Thanks for being such a great sister… you rock!
House of Jules
Have a super/awesome day!!! Looks like you have already had a hot date birthday dinner!
I have experienced the 40’s for a year and a 1/2 and am OK with them. I still think I am 27 anyway, but with a whole lot more knowledge and strength!
You are truly blessed!
Happy Birthday, Melisa! 🙂 Enjoy your 40s…they’re FABULOUS!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Forty is awesome!
41. “I’m an excellent driver; excellent driver. 10 minutes to Wapner”. :0
You forgot that one. 😉
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I think counting our blessings is a great exercise for us all to do. Love your list. It was very thoughtful!
Happy Birthday!!! I bet you will totally kick 40’s A$$. I love your list.
I’ve seen your little face next to all your posts, so that pretty much makes us friends. So Happy Birthday.
awwww Happy Birthday!
and I look at getting older this way: Its like a fine wine- it only gets better with age!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM DC!!
I can totally relate… I am not that far away. I love your closing line! But I need to ask a favor… since you have a nice phone voice, would you mind doing my voice mail recording on my WUSA work cell phone? Please? It could be an early b-day gift to me… Think about it and I’m so glad I discovered your blog and then REdiscovered it!!!
WEATHER KIM IN DC
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! 😀
Love the last line! And truly – it’s a number, not unlike that on the scale or the jeans – and it’s all in how you think, act, and feel. And let’s just say – you SO do not act your age! Bwahaha!!! 😀 Now go put on your tiara hair and enjoy your day! 😀
See now, I’m looking forward to my 40’s…my 30’s were pretty good…if it’s like they say and my 40’s are even better then I’m going to have a hell of a time!
Happy Birthday, Melisa. I can’t wait until you write about your 50’s! 🙂
Happy Birthday!! Enjoy!
You know what I’ve heard about turning 40? The sex gets better….:)
oh my GOFF!
Melisa! This is a wonderful post and of course your old skool pics are priceless. #34… I always wanted one of those. In fact I’ve had voice coaching trying to achieve that. You are a natural at so many things including cheering peeps up with your blogs! Happy bday my dear and send me some good ole Suburban Scrawl youtube vid that I can post to celebrate this milestone that is even more magnificent than that mile you live near! xoxo ~traffic angie
Happy Birthday!! Forty is nothing you can’t handle 🙂
P.S. The Captcha is “furbut.” Giggle.
This is the hubby of KAT.
Congratz from the other side of the ocean as well. Hope you are having a fab. time and that you got everything you wished for.
Be carefull, we will hunt you down one day 🙂
Thanks everybody! I enjoyed getting everyone’s well wishes yesterday!
Katie: You’re right; thanks for that one. It is really true that I have friends (even outside of blogging!) ranging from late teens (from work) to…well, older than me. 🙂
Kat: Don’t worry; I’ll console you when you turn 40 also. Actually, maybe you’ll be skipping to 41, because I’m going to KILL 40! (that gave me a good laugh)
Spammon: Thanks for dropping in from Julesie’s House!
Melissa: You made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Let’s not be hasty about turning 50. LOL
Barb: Furbut! *snicker*
Hubby of Kat/”H”: Yay! You were so sweet to drop in for my birthday! Thanks! And for the record, I’m not worried at all that you will hunt me down one day. In fact, I encourage it. Can’t wait! 🙂
Truly inspiring! Iwill have to copy your post…in 5 years…God willing!
Happy Belated Birthday my friend!
I hope you had a wonderful day 🙂
First, I am SO super sorry that I didn’t come by to wish you a happy birthday ON your birthday!! I read this in reader at work and thought, “I HAVE to remember to go comment.” And then. I didn’t. 🙁
And yeah-you of all people are totally going to kick 40’s ass.
Colleen - Mommy Always Wins
You’re just awesome.