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I was in a desperate place last week.  I was about to turn 40.  We were having a party to celebrate.  I was still in the process of losing weight from my pregnancy.  It was going to be warm out after months of cold weather, so I knew I would have to wear something that showed my legs and/or my arms. 

What would any woman do in that situation?  Go to the tanning salon.  Duh.

All weekend, I couldn’t figure out why it was hurting to nurse the baby.  My nipples were so sore.  Then I put it together.  All of you breastfeeding mothers heed my advice:  don’t go to a tanning salon while you are nursing.  Or, if you go to a tanning salon, put something over your nipples!

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Yesterday’s post made me think of something funny…

I wrote that I used to joke about starting to play the drums at 37;  I was a little self-conscious about it because every musician I met was in their 20s or early 30s and they had all been playing for years.  Mark, the owner of the music store where I bought my drums and took lessons is a ball-buster (which I love in people) and we used to joke a lot about my being old and about everything else.  In fact, I became good friends with both Mark and his wife, Christine, and I miss seeing them regularly since I moved out of Jersey City.

One day my drum teacher, Kevin, told me that my homework was to find someone to jam with, versus just playing along with music on my headphones as I had been doing.  He felt that was the next step in my developing as a drummer.  I was beside myself.  How would I find someone to jam with?  I didn’t even use the word “jam” in a sentence unless I was making a peanut butter sandwich, and anyway I would say “jelly”!   The only musicians that I knew were professionals and I was too much of a novice to jam with them.  Would I have to troll the streets for young musicians, schedule a jam session with them and then send them an Outlook meeting request?  That was my standard operating procedure at the time!  I was completely thrown for a loop.

Thinking he would be able to provide some guidance, I shared my concerns with Mark.  A week later when I came in for my lesson, Mark said to me, “Guess what?  I found someone for you to jam with.  She’s a bass player and she is at about the same level as you are so you two should be able to play and progress together.”

I was so happy.  “Thanks Mark!  That’s awesome!”

“Sure,” he replied, “just let me get permission from her dad because she’s fourteen.”  And then he laughed.

Ugh. 

The moral of the story is….you have to be able to laugh at yourself.  I still snicker when I think of that moment.

Have a good one!

Today is my 40th birthday.  I feel like I should say it is hard to believe but that would be untrue.  I keep track of my birthdays like a child.  And I celebrate them like a child too, often for weeks at a time.

I always joke that I don’t feel old because I am so immature, and when people say I look young I explain it’s because I don’t have kids to worry about.  After having been a teacher, I know how being responsible for young people can age someone!

Maybe I don’t feel old because I really try to maintain an attitude of “it’s never too late”.  When I was turning 37 and just coming out of a very rough personal crisis, I decided to do three things:  throw myself a birthday party because I have no shame, buy myself a drum set because I always wanted to play, and start dating someone 12 years younger than me because that’s what you do when you are having a mid-life crisis.  The party was a blast and the relationship didn’t last more than a couple of months, but I still play the drums.  I always had wanted to play but never tried it, and once I started I couldn’t stop.  I would rush home from work to play, which was challenging considering the job I had at the time, and every time I was done practicing I had a huge smile on my face.  The bonus was that by picking up the drums I ended up meeting my husband.

Since my last birthday, I got married (actually right before my birthday), started the consulting practice I had dreamed of for almost ten years, had my first baby, and moved into a new home.  Yes, it was exhausting.  My life is now 100% different than it was when I was turning 37, and 250% better.  All of this happened because I didn’t feel like it was too late to start playing the drums.

The moral of the story is that it’s never too late to do or try anything.  Around the time I bought the drums I felt a little self-conscious about it, which led me to make jokes about the decision.  One day I joked about it to someone in a cafe while we were waiting in line (Jersey City is friendly like that) and he said, “Don’t feel weird about starting the drums at 37.  My mom started her Masters degree at 40 and she always said that in five years she would either be 45 years old with a Masters degree or 45 years old without a Masters degree.”  If that isn’t a great attitude for embracing life, I don’ t know what is!

Try something new!  It’s never too late.

It’s taken me five years, but I finally have started my blog.  There’s a saying you may be familiar with, and it goes like this:  better late than never.  So here I am being a complete latecomer when I like to see myself as a trend-setter.  What can you do?

What was the hold-up?  (She asks, as if you were all patiently waiting.)  After all, a blog seems to be the perfect marriage of two things I truly enjoy: 

  1. Telling people what’s on my mind.
  2. Attention. 

In fairness to myself, the latter comes and goes – sometimes I do like to retreat into my cave to rejuvenate and regroup.  And I love to listen to people too.  However, as my husband will attest, there is never a time when I am not willing to share what’s on my mind.  Poor guy.

So back to the burning question – what was the hold up?  Well, there were a couple of things:

  • I didn’t feel like I had the time.
  • I didn’t know if anyone would care.
  • I didn’t want to get my feelings hurt when someone posted a comment like “You are a moron and you should curl up in a hole and die.”  I’ve seen the things that some people are willing to post when they have even a little bit of anonymity!

So the other burning question – what changed?  Here is the answer:

I just don’t care anymore. 

I am making the time because I need an outlet for the things that fly through my head.  I don’t care if anyone else cares because I am doing this for me.  If people don’t like it, so be it.  I feel really liberated now!  And this can only make my husband’s life easier because if I get a lot of the stuff in my head out onto the blog, there will be fewer times when I get on a roll and talk his ear off.  But I am not making any promises.

By the way, it’s sad that in my first post I have a numbered list AND a bulleted list.  You can take the girl out of corporate, but….you know the rest.  More on that in a later post.  I have to stop now because I really should go attend to the child.  More on THAT in a later post.

Have a good one!

About Me

The purpose of this blog is purely self-expression - being creative for the sake of being creative. It has evolved into a collection of non-fiction essays.

All of the anecdotes and incidents you read in this blog are completely true and not exaggerated, no matter how sad, pathetic or unbelievable they may seem.

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© Operation Peace and Serenity, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Operation Peace and Serenity with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.