In less than a month, I will turn 39. And I’m dreading it. Typically, I love birthdays—more so other people’s than my own, but I love to celebrate people and the incredible gift they are to this world. On my birthday, having a facebook account is the best—there are literally hundreds of birthday wishes.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I am, for lack of a better word, grieving this birthday. You’d think 40 would be harder, and it might be, but the numbers 3 and 9 just loom in front of my face most days—not to mention, my day is on a Monday this year and not much good happens on Mondays.
Being true to myself, I’ve over-analyzed my feelings of gloom surrounding this to try to figure out why it feels like a black cloud hanging above my head. Thirty-nine is not really old (although to the younger 20 somethings I’m sure it seems that way). Nothing has drastically changed this year. So why does the thought of it just make me want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head?
One reason, I think, is friends. I have them and if you look at my facebook friend list, it looks like I’m really popular. Until you weed through the work contacts, old college and high school friends I never talk to anymore. Then my list is small. AND, very short of bosom friends. Don’t get me wrong—I do have friends, even many “fridge-door-right friends (you know—the ones you are comfortable enough going into their kitchen and getting something out of their fridge without asking). So, if you are one of those friends, please don’t be offended by this post—I do value your friendship.
But, I long for something deeper some days (like being able to call or be called at midnight to get a second opinion on some crazy thought or feeling you just had that stems from some dark place inside you that you are scared to enter alone) And something more shallow some days (like a text in the middle of the afternoon saying—I saw this thing that is perfect for you and am on my way to bring it over).
Another reason is my calling. I KNOW I am called to do what I do, but the reality has finally set in that it also means we may always struggle financially. Working for a church, while an utter blessing, is not the way to get rich—in terms of money. That being said, God continues to bless my family with gifts that are absolutely amazing and affirm my decision to keep doing what I do. I don’t regret that I am called to this or even mourn it, but I also have come to grips with the fact that my hair will never have that every 6 weeks colored and cut look (I know—that last sentence is the utter essence of the word “shallow” but I’m just keeping it real here, folks).
So, I’m trying to be thankful and remember the oh-so-many good things I have been blessed with right now. And I am grateful.
But that 39 is still looming ahead and sucking my joy right now.