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#MicroblogMondays 144: 42

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I’m in my last few days of being 42.  I am always bummed out about my birthday and getting older, but in this case, I waited my whole life to be 42, and now it’s almost over.

I was really excited to celebrate my Douglas Adams birthday.

But can I tell you the worst story?  When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to be 19 because it’s a number that is fun to say in Hebrew.  It has a “T” sound in the beginning of the word, but because of the other letters around it, it almost sounds like the word chai (as in “chai tea”) said with a T.  I know, sort of hard to imagine if you don’t know Hebrew, so here is a video of a guy saying the numbers 11 to 19.

Anyway I forgot that I was 19 until a few days before my 20th birthday.  I was washing my hair at my friend’s apartment in Oslo when it dawned on me that I had been 19 the whole year and had never said aloud how old I was.  My diary is entry after entry about how I was finally 19 and blew it.

Remembering that, I sucked the marrow out of being 42.  Thanks, Mr. Adams.

Is there a certain age you always wanted to be?  Why?

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1. I Was Depressed Once | Naba 10. Isabelle 19. Jenn P
2. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 11. Turia 20. Virginia
3. No Kidding in NZ (Mali) 12. Lori Lavender Luz 21. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
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9. Raven 18. When in need of a laugh | Mettle (Fertility Blog)

23 comments

1 Nabanita { 05.29.17 at 6:15 am }

Wanted to be 21 because my birthday is on 21st. But it went by in a jiffy! Oh and happy birthday in advance:)

2 Cristy { 05.29.17 at 7:20 am }

An interesting question, as I haven’t really been excited about an age for awhile. I think the last one for me was age 25.

But now you have me thinking about future ages. 40 is coming up (that one still is hard to believe), but 56 seems like another interesting age.

How about for you?

3 a { 05.29.17 at 8:19 am }

You are so odd. ๐Ÿ™‚ (mostly because I don’t celebrate my birthday, haven’t since I was probably 23 and didn’t really want to then either, and rarely remember how old I am without having to do math. I’m fairly certain that my daughter didn’t even know when my birthday was until last year. She’s 10. I suppose it’s possible that I’m the odd one.)

4 loribeth { 05.29.17 at 8:29 am }

I couldn’t wait to be 16. I was a teenager in the 1970s, and I grew up reading all these novels written about teenaged girls in the 1950s & 1960s, when being a teenager really meant something, and 16 was extra-special, I guess partly because you could get your driver’s license then. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As so often happens, the reality didn’t live up to the dream. I was nowhere near popular, I flunked my driver’s test (twice — didn’t get my license until just before I got married & have seldom driven since) , nobody had “sweet 16” parties where I lived back then. I don’t remember much that was memorable or defined that year (except maybe that Elvis died??), and it was all very “meh” (although that wasn’t an expression we used back then, lol).

In a weird way, I suppose I was looking forward to 55, not that I really wanted to get any older, but there was an insurance company ad campaign when I was growing up pushing the concept of “freedom 55” (i.e., early retirement), & that stuck with me. Once we realized we weren’t having children, “freedom 55” became a goal. Except I lost my job when I was 53, which sort of undercut the whole thrill of retirement and having a party to celebrate with my colleagues, etc. There aren’t many perqs for 55-year-olds these days (most places have been raising the age where seniors benefits kick in back up to 60 or 65 — although I do get seniors day discounts at a couple of the drugstore chains, lol). And I thought Aunt Flo would be LONG gone by the time I turned 55 — but now I’m 56 and she’s STILL HERE. :p :p :p

So I think there’s definitely something to the idea of just trying to live in the moment and enjoy the stage you’re at, because (in my experience) reality never quite matches the picture you have in your head of what your life is going to be at a certain stage.

5 Raven { 05.29.17 at 10:58 am }

I couldn’t wait to be 23. I don’t know why that was a magic number, but it was the most anticipated year for me yet. It came and went so fast, and when I turned 24 I actually struggled with it. I didn’t feel like I had done everything I thought I would by 23. Since then, birthdays have been significantly easier.

6 Shilpa { 05.29.17 at 11:09 am }

Happy birthday Mel๐Ÿ˜ Oh I have never thought of any special year for my birthday still..may be I should think about it now๐Ÿค”

7 Turia { 05.29.17 at 11:42 am }

Happy birthday (soon)!

When I was a kid I was excited to turn 20 because I thought I would be so grown up then. But otherwise I don’t have strong associations with any particular age. I’m a bit intimidated by 40, which is coming in a couple of years, but I suspect it will feel much like 37 has.

8 Traci York { 05.29.17 at 12:58 pm }

Early happy birthday, Mel! I remember being really focused on turning 16, 18, and 21 but after that I’ve been less intense about the whole birthday thing. That being said, it still feels weird to say that I’m in my fifties – seems like just yesterday I was only 30…

9 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.29.17 at 2:03 pm }

I’m odd, too (Hi, a!) I was looking forward to the DAY I was 33 1/3. Why? I don’t know. Just seemed thirdly, which seemed awesome.

Very short-lived, though.

Happy pre-birthday!

10 Journeywoman { 05.29.17 at 2:13 pm }

Happy Pre-Birthday.

No year I want to especially celebrate.

11 Noemi { 05.29.17 at 2:15 pm }

I have been excited about this years birthday because it’s 7/17/17 and I will be 37 and seven is my lucky number. I though 37 was going to be a really great year for me. But then the election happened and now I’m just hoping I survive the next four years. I’m not nearly as excited about it anymore.

12 Jenn P { 05.29.17 at 2:22 pm }

I was really excited for 20 thinking people would treat me like an adult instead of a kid. Yeh, that didn’t happen. I’m 3 weeks from 32 and want to do something for my birthday but no idea what.

My son was born on Douglas Adams’ birthday so I was pretty excited about that! Also Shemp of the 3 stooges and Bobby McFerrin.

13 marieke { 05.29.17 at 2:39 pm }

Will be 42 on midsummersday. As a huge Douglas Adams fan I have been looking forward to that for years (actually I made an emailadres with 42 in it when I was actually 23!). 41 was quite a magical year and I have planned the scariest trip of my life 10 days out in my new age…. I will bring a towl and remember not to Panick!

14 Jenn P { 05.29.17 at 6:09 pm }

June 21?

15 Middle Girl { 05.29.17 at 2:54 pm }

Happy pre-birthday. My excitement over birthdays has waned over the years. But, generally the decade birthdays ramp up the measure of excitement; 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and in three years, 60.

16 Jess { 05.29.17 at 3:54 pm }

Happy almost-birthday! 42 sounds nice, I’ll look forward to that one. I’m glad you sucked the marrow out of this age! Nineteen in Hebrew IS totally fun to say! I’m sorry that was a lost opportunity. I feel like I had some thing for 36, that it sounded like a good age (and it’s a perfect square). I loved 17 though. I couldn’t wait to be that number because it just sounded so much more sophisticated than 16, and wasn’t quite riddled with all the responsibility of 18. Odd. Funny how we perceive these numbers so differently when attached to age!

17 Beth { 05.29.17 at 8:04 pm }

I just turned 40 and I feel like it should have been more momentous. The majority of my and my husband’s group of friends are turning 40 soon or just did. Many have marked it with a big deal something – a party, a trip, something – but I didn’t want that because I don’t love to be the center of attention and I don’t want to be away from my kids for a night or more so traveling was not an option. In my last days of 39 I felt like I should feel more – anticipation or dread I don’t know. But in the end, it was just another really great day. Lunch out with my kids, husband and parents. Rainy afternoon indoors with a good movie. Carryout from one of my favorite restaurants for dinner and a quiet night in. I loved it and so far being 40 is pretty awesome. All that’s to say – I haven’t looked forward to any age in particular but I should have been looking forward to 40.

18 Modern Gypsy { 05.29.17 at 9:38 pm }

Remember the song I am 16 going on 17 in Sound of Music? It was my favorite as a kid, so of course I couldn’t wait to be 16. I thought something magical would happen the moment I turned sweet 16! ๐Ÿ˜‰

19 Justine { 05.29.17 at 11:00 pm }

I think I was looking forward to being 25, because it sounded cool … but that was pretty short-lived. I was also looking forward to being in my 40s in general, because my 30s has some pretty low moments. 42 was good, I think … not because of anything momentous, much as I loved the Douglas Adams-ness of it all. 43 hasn’t been so bad, either.

I’ll never forget your birthday because it’s also our anniversary. May there be cake, and may you feel as celebrated as you are by so many. <3

20 marieke { 05.30.17 at 9:45 am }

Yep Jenn my birthday is june the 21. As a kid I got such a kick out of having the longest birthday of everyone I knew!

21 Jenn P { 05.30.17 at 6:38 pm }

Mine is too! Just 3 more weeks. Happy almost birthday to us!

22 nonsequiturchica { 05.30.17 at 1:33 pm }

Happy early birthday! No age seems to have been that exciting except for turning 21 since I was the youngest person in my college class. I could finally go to the bars with friends!

23 Lori Shandle-Fox { 05.31.17 at 9:43 am }

When I was a volunteer in a hospital from ages 14-16, I feared 26 for a while because there was a patient named Bonnie whom I had gotten to know who died there at 26 and I remember seeing that number on her ID every day I was there. Other than that, I challenge myself every year to not let getting older stop me from things I’ve always liked to do. I hate the thought of the list of “things I’ll never do again” getting longer and longer. That’s why at 53 I still go on crazy rides and roller/ice skate. This year, I’m doing a 6 day workout. I would love to be one of those people who can say they’re in the best shape of their life in their 50’s.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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