Sometimes I miss my twenties because it was awesome to know everything and be smarter than everybody.
My thirties have been far and away the best decade of my life. I became a teacher, had copious fun with friends, traveled, married, reproduced, and started my writing career.
Here I stand on the threshold of my forties with mixed feelings. I will no longer be “young.” I’m now “middle-aged” (if I’m lucky, and stop eating ice cream for dinner).
When my mom turned 40, her youngest child was in high school. My youngest child is in a high chair. She’s learning a high-five.
Doing things differently than my mother did them is how I gauge my success in life. Except my mom has always looked young. I distinctly remember sitting in a booth at Marie Calendar’s with my sisters and her when she was 38. We were 16, 17, and 20 years old. When my mom ordered a glass of wine, the waitress asked her for I.D. Laughing with delight, Mom declared, “These are my CHILDREN!”
To defy my 40th birthday, I’m going to Disneyland. I’m spending an outrageous amount of money to stay at the Grand Californian Hotel, which is modeled after the Ahwahnee in Yosemite (where I’d really like to go someday except I’m afraid of being eaten by bears – and debt).
This week while continuing the slow process of making our junk room into a playroom, I found some photo albums with pictures from 1990-93. I was barely twenty. It’s crazy to think about how much time I spent loathing myself back then, because from where I sit now, I see an above average looking girl with fantastic hair and great eyebrows, not to mention a silky smooth neck. Youth truly is wasted on the young.