I turned 48 three days ago. I don’t know what I expected 48 to feel like. I suppose in my twenties I expected by 48 to have things figured out. I wouldn’t have expected a major career change. I couldn’t have contemplated a dramatic drop in ambition and a redefinition of “success” but I sure welcome both of those changes.
I started the day sitting on my deck in the sun listening to birds, which are easy to hear now in quarantine – little to no airplane traffic. These days I am taken by the color of flowers, the smell of fresh cut grass, the light from a sunset.
Last week my husband asked how I was thinking about my birthday. I’d forgotten about it. I barely know what day it is – let alone what month. May crept up on me, as did 48. For a minute I thought I was turning 49. I’m practically 50. All of this is OK.
A few casual observations. Cheetos are a food group. Pictionary is awful. I love my phone and won’t apologize for that. We thought about moving to a larger house; now, forced to share space all the time it’s clear we have more than enough. I remembered that at age 4 or 5 I said I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I’m reading a lot more of The New Yorker. I hate folding laundry but love most other home tasks. Cheap toilet paper is tolerable but a sacrifice I won’t miss when this is over. Clutter won’t kill me. Definitely 10 pounds heavier than I ever imagined I would be – which means 15. But I can run 5 miles if I want to, 10 if I have to.
None of this is 48 specific, but they’re current minor musings. I hope people stay kinder. Reach out more. Make more things. Slow down.
And thank you – so many people reached out and said happy birthday and shared good wishes. This Corona time will inevitably make age 48 very different from what I ever would have predicted. Probably a good lesson at any age – cliché as it may be…expect the unexpected and make time to be thankful for every moment.