Following the blessed event, I appeared to go through a cycle of five major emotional phases as I see it, summed up in what I am now calling "Post-Party Depression." Fortunately for me (and Scientologists everywhere), no medication was required for treatment.
First came the flutter and flurry of activity leading up to the big jamboree. For weeks beforehand, I really could think of little else. Not so much the party we would eventually throw, but the countdown. It seemed a slow plank-walk to adulthood. Then things accelerated rapidly and the actual day came and went too fast. Balloons were blown, drums were beat, a goat was slaughtered, wine was drunk.... the people came.
These events led directly into the second stage of the cycle, the actual euphoria of being in the moment. It's a big party. There's food and drinks and entertainment and gifts. And it's all for me. Meeee!? I am being celebrated. Wowza.
Fun times. Followed by less fun times. Third stage was the seismic aftershock of the next day, which included my lying on the living room floor in my pajamas like a dead beetle for most of the morning and early afternoon. Amongst the detritus of "the morning after" with the few friends who stuck around the whole night, I waxed hungover about my newfound adult status. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately, this stage was rather lengthy and lasted at least another 24-36 hours. It can be characterized primarily by stupefied disbelief. I'm 40. Party's over.
Fourth was the literal nuclear wasteland that was my house, my body, and my mental state when I fully came to and realized the who / what / where / when / why of the situation I was in. It was not so much a sobering up as an epiphany. Punctuated by the exclamation of terror released by the housekeeper when she came to work the next day. So this is what it's gonna be like from now on. It was not pretty. Kinda like The Walking Dead. Except I was the only zombie for miles and there was nothing to eat, not even a goat.
Of course, you all know me well enough to know that the fifth and final stage was the rally, the reboot, the revival. The light at the end of the tunnel signified the end of the party weekend and the start of a brand-new work week. As a grown-up. Initially a bit brutal like Sandra Bullock re-entering the Earth's atmosphere in Gravity, it actually didn't take too long to normalize again. As LL Cool J famously claimed, "Don't call it a comeback / I been here for years...." Copy that.
Now, several weeks later, I have had time to get used to the idea of "40" and, while there was a slight dip at the two-week mark (Sex and the City fabulous 40 descends into Larry David existential crisis 40), these days has me seeing the big 4-0 in a new light with new possibilities on the horizon.
The Project is doing amazingly well, with expansion in our very near future. Challenges are being faced and conquered, and weaknesses recognized and resolved. My core group of family, friends, and general loved ones remains intact and probably in even better harmony than before 40 since now I know who really loves me (!!), and I love you guys too!!
I feel I am in a good place at 40 years (and 20 days) old and am proud of my recent professional accomplishments, personal development, and these legs!! Recognizing that there will always be bumps in the road, I have high hopes for the year ahead, and as long as I remain vigilant about the neck cream, I think this may be my best decade yet!
Many thanks to everyone who helped me get this far; I, clearly, could not have done it without you. Hope you enjoy the photos from the big bash below!
The gifts (yes, I did wake up on my 40th birthday to a flat tire, of course I did, why wouldn't that happen??)
And finally, here's your girl, from crying baby in yellow terrycloth to running down a dream to 40 in Daisy Dukes with a classic look on my mug, that's me!