Wednesday, November 17, 2010

40 to 40

I will be 40 years old in 40 days.

A few months ago, I had ambitious plans for my "countdown to 40." I thought I would attend a yoga class each day - even on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I planned on meeting a different friend every day for coffee or drinks. I even conjured up ideas of attacking my stack of books, and completing one each week.

That is so not going to happen - none of it.

Instead, I likely have 40 days to figure out where Ben and I will be living after the first of the year since Bank of America refuses to help me keep this house. There are a lot of layers to that problem, including the studio I use for clients, the dog that we love and the simple fact that this house has been home to us for all of Ben's childhood years.

I hate you, B of A. I really, sincerely do.

On a lighter note, I saw that Time magazine printed its "Most Influential 30 under 40" list and I noted - with disappointment - that I wasn't on it. Now it's safe to say that regardless of what amazing invention I come up with or how outstanding my forthcoming literary piece will be, I won't be on it next year. Or any year. Because I'll be in the "over 40" club. Where we wear Uggs and shoot up our faces with Botox and exercise like demons so that we can look like we're still in the "under 40" club.

Dear God, help me. I am not accepting this aging thing well. And I really hope I get a pair of Uggs for my birthday.

As I count off the days to 40, I've also given some considerable thought to my career path, including lots of online research on potential jobs that work with a wacky custody schedule and daily commutes to Fair Oaks for school and sports activities. It's shocking what I've come up, given that none of the professions I've researched actually take into account my degree.

Even more shocking (and depressing) is the fact that the jobs that do require a Marketing degree are gone. At one point a MBA might have been a good idea but opportunities at that level have disappeared, too. At least in Sacramento, that is.

I like what I do. It works for me. And for Ben, too. I don't want to give it up. Not just yet.

So really, there's not much to do except to sit back and let things unfold as they're supposed to.

That means, it's 40 days of being quiet, being contemplative, being thoughtful. Which is what I've been trying to do lately anyway.

I read a great article by Martha Beck, one of my favorite authors. She wrote a recent column about what to do when you have have no idea what to do. Her advice was simple, straightforward: "When nothing's working, do nothing." I am really good at doing everything and in the last couple of months, I've noticed that when I've slowed down to the point of doing nothing - or almost nothing - everything in my being seems to come down a few notches. And that's when things begin to get clear.

I've promised myself that for the next 40 days, I'm going to continue to do nothing more than I really have to - which, during the holiday season, should prove to be a huge challenge - in the hopes that I can start the new decade and the new year with some much-needed clarity.

But don't count me out completely. I'm always up for yoga, a cappuccino or wine!


Lish said...

I also hate B of A. How stressful. :(

Welcome to the over 40 club (soon but not yet)!!! It's not so bad over here, I promise. And I haven't bought any Uggs since I've turned 40, no Botox and shoot, what was the other one? My memory is going.

It's very good to have some down time. I'm having some today. I always just figure it's God's way of telling me to rest up, because something good is around the corner, and it is going to take a lot of my energy. :)

Janeen T, aka: Ben's Mommy said...

Lish, you have the most wonderful way of saying things. "God's way of telling me to rest up..." - beautiful and so optimistic. Like you. Thanks. Big hugs to you.