This is the year. The year I turn 50. The year my youngest leaves the nest. The year I discover that I am more than a mother, wife, and daughter. I'm excited, really, not kidding, truly, I wouldn't joke about age. First I never lie about my age. I never have.
The first 19 years didn't count. I can't remember half of them and the other half was spent with people I'd rather forget, well, with a few exceptions. Those years entailed braces, broken hearts, acne, gangly legs, hair that took way too much effort, dealing with groups of girls that freaked me out back then but in reality were just as insecure, apprehensive, dithery and worried as I was. Boyfriends, who were sweet but idiots at best and at worst, just plain ole' jerks.
The next 10 years were spent slogging my way through higher education, building a career, dating every bozo put on earth, making sure my shoes matched my earrings, matched my blouse, matched my handbag and together made me look professional. Spending inordinate amounts of time fixing my hair, doing my makeup, getting my nails done and shaving my legs. I began to wonder if I was really doing what I wanted with my life at the same time looking like I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Climbing the corporate ladder and kissing lots of asses. The only two decent things to come out of my 20's were Beerhound and coffee. And at this point, I'm not sure which one would be awarded the title of most important discovery/event.
My thirties were spent kissing the career goodbye that I spent the last 10 years building and having children. Deciding that staying at home and raising my kids was a unified decision made my Beerhound and I. He was in the Navy and couldn't quit, although I've no doubt that he would of chosen to stay at home if he had the choice. Not really because he adored the children, he did but because his idea of staying home was basically the movie "The Help". O' silly man. We also chose to home school. These years were the tired years. The "I don't remember a thing" years unless I look at pictures or listen to the girls regale me with tales of every stupid thing I've ever done. Let's not forget how I ruined Bonnie's life by telling her there was no Santa Claus or how I caused Emma years of therapy by telling her that stuffed animals played while we all slept.
Between the late 30's and the 40's I spent my time in a car. Horse back riding lessons, pottery lessons, swim team every day, crew practice, girl scouts, piano lessons, co-op classes, Wednesday night church programs, play dates, building the menagerie of animals I now own but don't really want to anymore. I began to spend less time on my hair, my make-up, my clothes. I was lucky to get out of the house on time. I took up knitting, cross-stitch, and quilting. Don't applaud. What the fuck else was I going to do. Watching your child swim back and forth for three hours a day gets boring. This was the beginning of my self discovery, my self questioning. Really? I was put on this earth to watch children run around a ring on a horse? row a boat to nowhere? swim back and forth, back and forth, back and forth? collect pieces of pottery that were ugly not to mention incredibly unusable?
This was my maiden voyage into vodka land and xanax smoothies. I watched my boobs sag. Grey hairs sprouting from the crown of my head. Dark spots appear on my arms and circles develop under my arms.
Well, in 152 days I'm officially done with everything I once thought important. I'm out to discover myself. Some things I already know. I hate pantyhose and no man on earth could ever convince me to wear them again. Makeup is for people who have extra time in their life. I don't. I've got to much to do with what I time I have left. Besides, it's bad for your skin. High heels, forget that shit. I'm almost 5'9". I have a fused ankle and honestly, men invented high heels. If you don't believe me, look it up. Besides they are bad for your feet. I have gorgeous hair. I do color it but I wash it, condition it and let it go.
The best thing is in 152 days I can officially flip people off for no other reason than I've earned it. I've paid my dues. My life is more than half over and I intend on enjoying the rest of it. I'm not putting up with stupidity anymore. I'm wearing my cowboy boots proudly. I'm going to watch the PBR and let my tongue hang out. I'm not shaving my legs unless it's the summer and only then because I do respect Beerhounds sense of propriety. I'm riding the horse around the ring and making my daughters watch. I'm getting a boob reduction, because, honestly the only ones who care how big your boobs are, are men. After all this time on earth, I've discovered they're not as smart as they've led us to believe. Sweats are the de bomb.
And my mother was right, Frank Sinatra can really sing.