Last Saturday, in the middle of a snow storm that crushed all plans of for birthday foolywang, I turned 40. Where I'd usually be pissed off by the wintry mess that Mutha Naycha saw fit to drop, I found a great sense of peace. Just 18 birthdays ago (dayumb!) I slapped the shit out of a young man for not taking heed to my warning to leave me alone. I hadn't made the connection before now but my birthday, falling in the season I hate, has been a problem for me for a long time. My birthdays have generally passed with me in a state of "meh..." or completely out of sorts, pissy or trying my best to fake it til I make it. The worst thing for a chick with SADs (seasonal affective disorder) is to have a birthday that lands smack dab in February, the most trill of winter months.
This go round, I woke up feeling good, feeling great. The sun shone brighter than it had at 6:50 a.m. in a long time. I didn't drag trying to get myself ready for bootcamp, or when I had to actually go out into the cold in porous athletic shoes, and certainly not when I discovered that my favorite ass kickin' trainer & fitness guru was still out of town (or avoiding us 1 more day). When the snow started to fall, I didn't do an inner whine & pout routine to signal annoyance at yet another foiled plan for birthday fun. See, all the plans I'd tried to put together got shut down in the days & weeks leading up to my birthday. Prior to my actual birthday I DID feel down about things not coming together & no celebration befitting of the number 40 was taking shape.
I exited 2 hours of exercise, made a mental note to get at the fitness guru & check her for having leg day fall on my birthday 2 years in a row, & made it to my car in need of clearing from the snow. I called my favorite person, told him to get himself together so we could run some errands & headed thru near zero visibility and certainly ZERO road treatment to get him. Shout out to Mayor Muriel Bowser for that 1. The Beau came out into the messy weather with me and while handling business I was moved to press pause & play. I caught snow on my tongue. I danced in the snow. Kicked up snow, & suggested we walk thru it to have lunch during a storm that got progressively worse with each playful minute. Ndygo Sunshyne of 2 years ago might have given some strong side eye to anyone who suggested there was a bright side to the white out, & Ndygo Sunshyne of 5 years ago might have sent you a parting gift from our friendship & shown you the figurative door.
See, I HATE winter. I think I've made that clear in the previous paragraphs but I needed to ensure it was stated clearly. I am not a farmer & don't require whatever benefits of having frigid temps impact my soil or my seeds or whatever it is that snow & crops work out with 1 another. I find the season to be extraneous & completely off putting. It forces me to go outside daily in a uniform of frumpy warmth, taking me completely away from my colorful, fun loving, flirty sundresses & sandals self. I can't even be a proper sneaker pimp in the winter cuz I don't do cold feet. Which brings me to winter boots. I like winter boots, but Lawd Gawd they're heavy. Now if the weight of them somehow positively impacted this situation that is my grandmother's thighs, I could get over it for the redeeming qualities, but alas there are none. I'm straying a bit but I think you get the point: winter ain't cute & I don't feel cute in it. But on my birthday morning, Son...! I woke up feeling like a new woman.
My first look in the mirror didn't register anything that seemed remotely like 40. I faced myself as a young woman who still has to sometimes fight to be believed that she's over 25. It's a good fight to have, if there must be fights. When dressed for the cold & snow just last Saturday, I may have looked every bit of 12. & I was thankful to be alive, looking ridiculous, having fun with the man I love & receiving the most wonderful outpouring of love through birthday wishes. There was no major giving of gifts, no shared fun with the people I wanted to spend my birthday with, no planned birthday cake & vegan ice cream, but there was a tremendous sense of peace & reflection, reminders & renewal. It was by far 1 of the best birthdays in memory, full with cheer & contentment. So many light bulb moments occurred in my mind & helped me to connect to the energy that will be required to get thru the next 10 months until I clear yet another hurdle--graduation from my master's program.
The wonders of 40, thus far, & the gifts & lessons gained from 30 are still taking shape. To meet the request of a reader who has requested them, I'll post them as soon as they come together. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to celebrate feeling girly, feeling gifted, & feeling buoyed through the month of Pisces, & hoping to remember to celebrate all year, as per permission from my uncle.
Here's to clearing all of our hurdles, to being able to set greater goals, & to taking quiet stock of the good inside of us & reaped by us. & here's to staying warm, safe & dry because, ironically, there's an ice storm happening as I type this, which means the next time I go outside, I'll have to wear some damn winter boots again.
Watch me move.