Wednesday, April 12, 2017


“For a woman, forty is torture, the end.”
Grace Kelly

Oh, forty, forty, forty.
As some of you may or not may not have noticed or cared, since Ash Wednesday (03.01.17.) I have revoked my traditionalistic use of social media. This included Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I allowed myself to use the Messenger app on my phone because it is legitimately the only way some people can reach me. Today is Spy (Holy) Wednesday, so I’ll post this in the morning. (Actually… by the time I’m finished writing this, it may be after midnight.) Lent is for personal devotion and not an obligation. Though you’re “allowed” (by the Church) to indulge in your sacrifice on Sundays, I chose not to. Lent is a private choice and is mostly used to remind us of repentance. The only reason I made my penance public, was because I had such a strong online presence. I didn’t want people to think/wish I’d gone missing and/or had died. I abstained for many personal reasons, not just religious ones. With that said, I do think throughout this past Lenten season, I have improved my relationship with God. If you’re really interested in the many reasons I decided to give up social media, please feel free to ask me.
As of Holy Thursday, I’m back. I’ll be truthful. I didn’t miss it a bit and when I did, it was for selfish reasons. I had something important or witty to say. I wanted to post pictures. The only thing I really did miss, was the baseball group that I’m in. That group informs me, grounds me, excites me and though there are a variety of opinions, everyone is polite and respectful. I’ll stop talking about baseball NOW, because if you know anything about baseball- you’ll understand why it’s too upsetting for me to get into. (Jesus Fucking Christ. Worst start in franchise history. I thought I could even, but I can’t even.) BTW? Blue Jays= forty-one years old.
Things have changed over the last forty-four days. Though I’m still in remission, I have struggled with some severe setbacks. I was convinced it was a relapse but it’s not. It’s just a bit of a bumpy ride at the moment (to say the least). I lost a friend. We had a very complicated (and yet so simple?) relationship for over a year, I had to cut the cord. It actually ended on his fortieth birthday. It was too much for my heart to take. I am still suffering from some severe side-effects from my massive cocktail of PRx. I could make a list, but it would equally horrify and bore you, should i make a list. I’m still sober. In fact, I celebrated my one year a couple of weeks ago. It’s not my first time to mark one year but that doesn’t mitigate my gratitude. Although I’ve been very tender regarding a few things (I’m still me, Claire. I am who I am) I feel as though I’ve come to a point of just not giving a shit about things I can’t control. I have this weird, new laissez-faire attitude. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest, but there’s an integrated feeling like my skin is thickening to the point of apathy. I surround myself with people I love, I try to do my best, I try to enjoy my life, I try to help others less fortunate, and fuck the rest of it.
I will admit that I sometimes get lonely. I often find myself humming the tune of "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. All of my friends are partnered up and many have kids. I thought about this a lot over the past forty-four days. I haven’t given up on finding love. One of the problems is, I’m really not going out of my way to find it. I’m a forty-year-old woman who’s never been married. This isn’t how I pictured my life to be at my age at all. That said, I’m the worst planner. Ask any of my close friends.
Also, now, I’m IN MY FORTIES. The party is over. Closing ceremonies only happened last weekend, but there’s no more celebrating. I’m just a woman in my forties. I feel like I should know more, have more, behave more appropriately... At least I’m alive. I’ve spent most of my life wishing I wasn’t, so I suppose that’s positive.
The number 40 in scripture is actually quite meaningful, and I’m trying really hard to get behind that- to make this transition a little smoother. It was one thing with all the parties and friends and gifts, but I’ve crashed down to earth and it hurts to get back up and dust myself off. My back hurts. I'm old. Just be a woman in my forties. My six-year-old niece guessed that her mommy (my sister) was forty-three. She guessed I was seventeen, I didn’t correct her and can only assume she made this presumption based on my behavior.
Forty is not only meant to represent a long period of time, but a transition from unholy to holy, a period of purification, a sanctification, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Israel: 40 years in the desert. The time it took for God to teach them the law, for those who partook in the idolatry at the foot of Mt. Horeb to pass and for the people to become ready to pass into the promised land.
40 days and nights of rain: the amount of time it took God to wipe man's sin from the face of the earth and to start anew.
40 days of Moses on Mt. Sinai: The amount of time it took for God to give the Israelites the law, a transition from a nation of slaves to a free people with a singular Godhead.
Christ 40 days of fasting in the desert: A time of preparation from God child to Christ. When Christ came out of the desert, his ministry began in earnest, the temptations of Lucifer behind him. A transition from perfect son to perfect teacher.
All my friends have countlessly told me that being in your 40s is the best. I recall people telling me that about my 30s. The worst decade of my life. How ironic that remission finally came to me at the fraying end of the rope tying my Gordian Knot for the first time in my life, just in time for my forties. This coming decade better kick some serious ass or I’m done. Legit, I will just let myself go crazy. Who will care? I won’t hurt anybody. I’ll just go legitimately bat-shit, over-the-top cray.
As one of my closest friends and favorite people on earth always says, “We’re women in our forties, we have nothing to prove”.
Also, LEGIT: I DID MY LAUNDRY TODAY FOR THE FIRAST TIME IN 40 DAYS. I ALSO GOT MY PERIOD AFTER 40 DAYS (TODAY!!! It was late. I know.) Disgusting? Maybe. Very characteristic of me? Definitely.
This is forty.