pushin’ 40

Tomorrow is my 40th birthday. I’ve been using the line “I’m pushin’ 40” for the past two years because it’s hilarious. You can essentially say any off-the-cuff or inappropriate comment followed by, “I’m pushin’ 40” and somehow it makes anything okay, and provides a nice jeuje to almost any joke. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re in your mid to late 30s, I highly recommend you try it. The only thing that bothers me about turning 40 is that I can’t say “I’m pushin’ 40” anymore.

A few weeks back, I posted the magic one-liner on Facebook for the pure joy of typing it out for one of the last times. Within an hour, I’m receiving  these “words of wisdom” responses:

“Welcome to the other side.”
“It’s not so bad cuz.”
“Wow that’s big kid! Good luck with labor!”
“U got this chica!”
“Same here. It’s terrible.”
“Don’t sweat it, I’m pushing 63 and have a great life.”

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. To me, it is just a great line — I hadn’t been sweating it at all. Only two of my friends understood the gag. I thought “Anyone who truly knows me must  know I don’t give a [insert profanity here] about getting older.”

Why is getting older in our culture a negative? 98% of my friends and family that commented on FB assumed I was upset about hitting the milestone birthday. Instead of getting a laugh, it messed with my head. It backfired for the first time in its history. The more I thought about the responses, the more I realized there are only a  few people in this whole world that truly know and understand who you are.

This brought me further down the rabbit hole, thinking about the pandemic and Covid-19. Whose lives have we sacrificed for our need to continue our leisure activities and comfortable lifestyles? The elderly and weakest of our society, yes? I’ll leave it there.

I’ve written about aging a few times. To reiterate in short … there’s no stopping the clock, we’re all getting older. Let’s take the ride with a positive mind and embrace each new phase of our journeys. There have been people in my life that have died young. And around my birthday I think of them with love, as I pass the age of their passing further and further. This is a reminder to me, to be grateful for every year this universe allows me to live.

The average life expectancy for men in the U.S. is 79, women 81. This means our mid-life crisis is around 40 years old. Who made us believe it was in our 50s? I guess TV. To celebrate my mid-life crisis milestone birthday, I’ve decided to shave the side of my head. Think Rihanna cirica 2012. I’ve always wanted to do it and what better time than now. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying a fancy car or getting Kybella.

So my good friend Keith came over and helped me out, buzzing my head on the front porch. It was exhilarating! And I think it looks pretty good.

If you’re approaching a milestone birthday my unsolicited advice is to embrace it. Don’t post anything weird on Facebook. Do something silly, winter swim in the ocean, get botox, shave your head – anything that makes you smile. We’ re all so fortunate to be breathing on this planet earth, in NYC, in our special oceanside community.

Anyway, I got to wait a few more years, but I’m already looking forward to peppering off-color comments with “I’m pushing 50!”

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tagged in memories