Mile Marker 3631

Oof, I'm not sure what 48 is supposed to feel like, but for me it feels like having spent a weekend deluding myself that I am actually 17 by drinking, dancing, and not sleeping.  Tomorrow I start another drive-by around the sun, and but for the shock I feel at the number (and the remaining pain in my dancing legs and the after effects of combining wine and strawberry ice cream) I actually feel pretty great.

Whenever I approach a new decade I determine to learn something new. At 29 I learned to swim, at 39 I learned (okay, perhaps "dabbled in" is a more accurate term) banjo, and now I think I am going to learn how to just grab an opportunity when I see one. (Yes, I also intend to learn to belly dance, and to ride a motorcycle, and to rope a steer, but those are opportunities too, right?)

According to the somewhat dispiriting letter from the Social Security Administration, I've got quite a few decades to go here. And if there should be any privilege that comes with being a widow lady in one's forties, it should be a free pass from fear of judgement and a willingness to break whatever stupid unwritten rules we all carefully tiptoe around.  

So as I move into yet another decade, my philosophy is this: if it'll bring me happiness, I'll do it. If it seems thrilling, I'll take the chance. When I see a brass ring, I'm going to grab it. If a pair of cowboy boots calls to me, they're coming home with me. And if those things result in embarrassment, financial difficulties , or a cast on my arm, so be it. 

So happy birthday to me. I've got several weeks of driving left in this trip; lots of friends to see, numerous places to visit, and hundreds of ballads to belt out in the Big Red Truck cabaret. I've got a hard cider in one hand and a bag of black licorice in the other--it tastes better together than you'd think--and it's time to put all this learning-to-be-brave training I've been doing into effect. Look out, Forty-Bloody-Eight, here I come.