By Shawna Kitzman
I’m happy I’m still in my 30s. Some of my friends and my husband are 40. I don’t know why I’m happy to have a few more years in this age bracket. What difference does it make?
I remember packages of black napkins at a party store in West Hartford Center called Bennett’s. They were black with white writing: Over the Hill! I learned in design school that historically, black packaging was associated with death. Those black napkins inferred the inherent doom and gloom that comes with turning 40. I don’t think it’s all downhill from 40. When people lived to 60, sure, 40 was old. But now people live to 80 and up, so 40 is no big deal.
Recently I felt creaky after not working out for a few months. I woke up with sore a back and hips, from my lack of physical activity. It was unacceptable. I’m too young to feel creaky. I started running again, three days a week. And I’m not creaky anymore. I know it’ll happen eventually but not yet. Not today, friends!
One of the freedoms of being 37 is confidence in who I am. I can say with certainty that I don’t like fantasy as a genre, I have no idea how the game of football works, I loathe shorts, and if I had to live on one food for the rest of my life, it’d be cheese, no question. I’m glad I don’t have to feign interest in shit to impress a date or people I want to be friends with. I can say I like this or that, or I stand for this and against that. I know who I am, but I’m open to trying new things.
The moment I close my mind to other ways of thinking or reject feedback…that’s when I’ll turn to a crusty old bird.
It’s refreshing to know myself in a way that wasn’t possible when I was younger.