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I Turned 40 Today.

Updated on November 17, 2013
This is me.
This is me.

I turned 40 today. It is inevitable for lots of us to have issues with our appearance. I have taken a major hit over the last 7 years with the diagnosis of several serious health conditions. This has lead to weight gain, lost mobility and incredibly unpredictable swelling. Could be my hands, maybe my left eyelid - who knows?

Either way, I wonder: Do I have any hotness left in me? Hotness, in my mind, defined as feeling confident and attractive. I think I am actually lodged in my window of hotness. I’ve not made it all the way through and I could use a few buddies to butter me up to help un-wedge me. Then all I need is someone to keep a fan blowing through my hair, perfect lighting shining on my amazing makeup and someone Photoshoping my body in real time. I will wait for technology to catch up to my dreams. It's probably another 100 to 200 IPhone roll-outs away.

Joy can be found in the simplest things.
Joy can be found in the simplest things. | Source

Fun vs. Sick Factor

I ate way too much today and I am not sorry. Think about your tastiest Thanksgiving ever. You ate huge portions of everything because it was THAT good. Even though you took every precaution by throwing fashion to the wind and wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants, surprisingly your clothing shrank by about four sizes by the end of the day. It could not have been anything you did, blame the clothing and cheap fabric. That’s what I do.

Anyhoo, my birthday was exactly like that except with gooey, pull apart cinnamon bread, Subway sandwiches and fudge. Oh, and the fact that I am lying in bed with no pants on at all and it is my skin that shrank those four sizes.

As I have aged, I have learned to gauge how much fun I have had by how sick I feel afterward. For example, I shopped at our neighborhood Walmart the other day. I had not been out of the house for a few days and I had a little cash burning a hole in my pocket. It was time for some modest shopping. When I arrived home my joints were hurting at about a level 5 on the pain scale. You know that ridiculous chart at your doctor’s office with the faces illustrating pain levels? I was at a level 5 or as I call it, “the slight grimace”. This means I had a moderate level of fun. I can have fun anywhere people.

I spent my birthday eve with my lovely auntie and my beautiful mom visiting a local craft show. The vendors were set up in the auditorium, as well as within the outdoor center of a local high school. We parked and made our way into the school from the parking lot. We entered the auditorium and I noticed that my back, feet, knees and legs were hurting already. I quickly got to the point that I could not think beyond my body. I had to keep eyeballing the area to plan ahead and spot the next chair, picnic table, ledge or sturdy person on which I could perch my aching self. I was ready to force any person wisely using their scooter to scootch over and share the ride. I only need room for one bun honestly. Just a bun. Is that too much to ask?

By the end of the day I had treasured the amazing laughs I had with my auntie, mom and uncle and my body was screaming out in pain. My uncle made us laugh until my mom and I both peed our pants. By the time I got home, I was in terrible pain and my pants were wet. I got all freshened up, downed some Advil and pain medication and laid down to recover. I was at the “kill me now” level of pain and I could not have been happier.

I slept for a while and got up to the smiling faces of my mom and beautiful daughter. I went through the lovely gifts I received basked in my time with my girls. Clearly this was an amazing birthday weekend. I went from a grimace to a kill me now in about 12 hours. Clearly, I had a LOT of fun.

I cannot ask for anything more. I feel very appreciated and even though my body thinks it is 85 years old, my mind will always feel around 12. I am grateful for my loved ones and would not want it any other way. I admit that this milestone was much less painless than I imagined it would be. I feel terrible physically, but my heart, this not so perfect heart, is SOARING with joy and thankfulness for this life of mine and all of the joy, laughs and love that fill it.


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    • delaneyworld profile image

      delaneyworld 6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you Steve. I do have a great support system and I am always grateful. That includes my online buddies as well! My mom asked me if I would want a scooter in order to get around better in the future. Just 3 months ago I would have answered with a resounding, "No way!" The other day, after writing this article and reflecting upon our shopping experience I offer an immediate, "Absolutely!" I'm finding as I learn more about myself and move through the grieving process associated with my illness, it is becoming more important to have quality experiences in ANY way I can get them. It doesn't matter if I walk, limp, drag myself, have someone carry me or scoot on a scooter. If I can use a scooter or wheelchair and notice my pain less and my experience, family and friends MORE, I am going to do it without hesitation! Thank you for reading my article, friend. Sending you continued positive energy!

    • profile image

      Steve 6 years ago

      Your description of the time at the craft show is all too familiar to me.I am often in that same position as i struggle to enjoy myself and deal with the pain i'm feeling.You seem to have a wonderful support system in those around you.You have such a wonderful way of looking at life.I learn from you each time i read one of your stories.You have taught me so much!Thank you,friend!

    • delaneyworld profile image

      delaneyworld 6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you all so much! I am so happy to be in the company of such lovely ladies. Thank you for reading my article and thank you for your birthday wishes.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Happy birthday! You probably won't appreciate it now, but 40 looks darn good when you hit 50, 60 or 70! ;D

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Happy birthday lady, and YOU are HOT! 40 is the new 20. Have the time of your life while you still can :)

    • SylviaSky profile image

      SylviaSky 6 years ago from USA

      Life truly begins at 40. The gladness of maturity and wisdom shows in your face! Happy birthday! I am 54 and only get more beautiful.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Many many happy returns of the day! I am 42 and when ever I go out I can feel heads turning my way. I know and believe that I am beautiful... because that's how I feel inside.