I don't know exactly why 39 feels so much scarier to me than 40, but it does. Almost like it's my last year to be "young" and I have a lot to accomplish before my tits fall off or something. I don't know. What I DO know is that I have a lot to be grateful for. Every time my therapist asks what I worry about, I tell her the same thing: that I'm terrified I won't get to have this life forever. I get to start every day with a to do list - good coffee, healthy kids, effortless love, successful work, fly-ass cooking, a big messy house full of my favorite family, more love - and finish it every day with a full belly, good booze and a sense of accomplishment, even if almost never a restful night of sleep. Then every Sunday a tribe of my favorite humans descend on my house like a band of champagne-flute-winged angels and make me feel whole again, especially when I'm at my worst.
Most things about being human come easily to me and in my old age I'm finally beginning to recognize how much that has meant for my life and well being. I am privileged. And every time I think I'm finally understanding just how privileged I am, I get a new lesson. It happens every day.
This is the best part of aging.
A month ago, we got a legal notice that our landlord would not be renewing our lease. We needed to be out by May 23rd. My daughter's 9th birthday! Within hours we got invited to my brother's wedding on May 9th. HIS birthday. Then my car died to the tune of $500. Then I had to miss two lucrative days of work because all the stress of not knowing if my family had a home had weakened my immune system and I got so sick I woke up in the middle of the night unable to swallow. It was the "worst case" of strep throat my doctor had ever seen.
It went away with antibiotics. But it left an impression.
Our family is precious to me. Yesterday was Trans Day of Awareness and I didn't post anything. I didn't feel like I could. I'm not trans. But I like to think of myself as at least a little more aware than most. The main thing I'm aware of is that the trans kids under our roof will always HAVE a roof. They will always have a safe space to just BE. I will sleep on couches and happily sell plasma so they don't have to worry about finding bathrooms they can safely use without any need to justify their gender(s). I will spend my "old" age learning from them every day and I will value every minute of their company.
And they will teach my children how to teach the next generation.
A week ago we got news that the landlord will let us go month-to-month until we find something better. We're sure as shit not finding anything worse. We've always paid our rent a month in advance. We do beautiful, community-building things with this space. If my privilege has taught me anything, it's that it doesn't really belong to me. It belongs to everyone who's never had it.
If I want ANY thing at age 40, it's just this: more of what I've got and even more gratitude for all of it.