You guys are the dirtiest.
It’s officially 40 days before I turn 40 – or at least it was a few days ago. I don’t think this is a thing for anyone but me – but for me it’s a thing. It’s not that I’m freaking out – or worried about moving into my 40th year in a depressing way (although I do tend to get depressed each year around this time) – it’s more that I’m realizing in a more solid, real, grounded way how fleeting it all is. Some would say (mostly my coworkers, who get the majority of my time) that I am obsessed with death right now. It’s not an obsession really, though – it’s just that I *just* got it.
We are all going to die.
Yes – of course – I have always known it in a real way, but in the past few months the reminders that life is short have been pretty constant. Scary. Ridiculous, even. I went home a few weeks ago – or what I would still consider home, for a funeral, and all of it combined felt like a big kick in the ass. Remembering my own parents turning 40, and staying in the home of one of my closest friends in the world, where I have slept more times than I can count. Walking from her house to my own childhood home, parking my 39 year-old butt on the pavement in front of it, and staring at it, trying to remember when it was mine. What my bedroom was like. What the kitchen floor felt like in the morning. Passing my elementary school. Hugging my first boyfriend, who’s now married with kids, wishing I could be in my 12 year-old body again for just a minute feeling the feelings I had the first time he kissed me. (Or, let’s be honest, I kissed him.)
Saying goodbye to one of the moms that raised me as much as my own mother did.
It felt big and happy and sad and terrible and amazing to be with my friends.
When we were little, we left each other with hugs, but now it’s hugs and kisses and open love. When we were younger, I had no question I would see them again soon – but now with kids and significant others and lives and hours between us, it feels so important each time we see each other – for me, anyway – to tell them I love them.
When we were little, my friends didn’t have parents that were dying at what feels like rapid speed, and they weren’t dying themselves.
I contemplated buying my childhood home in the midst of my temporary insanity (because I don’t even have a first home where we actually live, so why would I buy one in a place hours away?) but lucky for everyone involved, mostly Anna, I’m the brokest, so even though it only cost $30,000, that’s roughly $29,500 more than I could really afford right now. Instead, I bought a vintage makeup case that reminded me of one my mother had when I was little. (It was a much safer sentimental purchase than a home that seems to be in disarray*).
*if I won the lottery I’d be writing this from my childhood bedroom.
I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how I want to manage the oncoming of 40. I am in the midst of lots of celebrating, having lots of friends that are also turning 40 – and I am a big fan of shoving everyone I love in the same room with 80’s music, but with Anna’s schedule and my work-one, a party seems impossible. So – I have been trying to think of something else. Something better than a party. 40 days of something. 40 days of fasting seemed crazy. 40 days of running in my current almost-40 body, also seemed like a stretch. For about 3 or 4 days, upon the recommendation of one of my smartest coworkers, I was planning out 40 days of streaking (it could garner national attention! Where *will* she turn up next? Long Sands? Downtown Portsmouth? The County Jail? No one knows!) but when I replayed that idea to one of my other friends, he noted if I did end up in the county jail, I would be a registered sex offender, and that seemed notsogreat?
So, here’s where we are, roughly 38 days before 40. I am doing 40 things I would want to do before I died. Because I could only have 40 days. (And I could have 4 or 100 or 10,000.) And while I support the idea that you should be ‘living each day as if it were your last’, I think there’s a lot that’s tough to do within that context. Like – y’know, work. Because while I honestly (really, honestly) love my job, I sure as fuck wouldn’t be selling tickets to shows if it were my last day on earth? And 38 days seems like a healthy middle between one day and therestofmylife.
Suggested additions welcome, if not encouraged.
Documentation to come.
Here the fuck comes 40, let’s get naked. (And lots of other things).
- Wear a bikini, even if my body isn’t traditionally bikini-ready (and might not ever be).
- Go Skinny Dipping.
- Streak, somewhere, strategically.
- Sing karaoke.
- Take a tour of a vineyard.
- Sleep under the stars. (Does anyone have a sleeping bag I can borrow?)
- Have sex.
- Go to church.
- Have a date with a friend I haven’t made time to see but love and miss.
- Roller Skate.
- Sunrise paddle board.
- Run 20 miles.
- Tell people I love them.
- Bake something for someone.
- Meet the other Erin Laplante (she lives in Ossipee!).
- Get a massage.
- Run a 5K race.
- Help Anna get to camp.
- Go to Bikram.
- Get a pedicure.
- Get a tattoo.
- Write every day.
- Make dinner for someone.
- Volunteer again.
- Eat a lobster roll.
- Buy someone flowers that isn’t expecting it.
- Give my phone number to someone. Get one from someone else.
- Have sex again.
- Make dinner for my parents.
- Go to a concert.
- Tell someone a secret I’ve kept.
- Write a letter to my 50 year-old self.
- Write a letter to Anna’s 18 year-old self.
- Get dressed up and take myself on a date.
- Take a picture with Bobby Knowles (from the infamous story of attempted murder in the village)
- Go on a date with someone else.
- Go on a hike I haven’t been on.
- Tell a story that’s worth telling.
- Buy a stranger coffee.
- Watch the sunrise at the beach.
- Say yes to everything for a week.
- Skip school and work with Anna one day.
- Compliment one person a day.