Thursday, May 12, 2016

So this is what 40 feels like...

I turned (gasp!) 40 on Wednesday.

Selfie with the dog. She helped celebrate my 40th by wearing a party hat for a while, and chasing empty water bottles all over the house.

And I have to admit...I took it hard. I shouldn't have. I have friends who remind me that I'm only as old as I feel; and that since they turned 40, they've never felt sexier; and that life really begins at 40....

But the reality is, 40 has been a tough pill to swallow, for a multitude of reasons. First, my life is half over! Ince I've lived another 40 years, I'll likely either be dead, or pretty darn close to death. Second, I live somewhere I don't like, where I feel like a square peg in a round hole, and I have more in common with the hired help than my fellow expats. Third, I've got some personal stresses that are bogging me down right now, and when I'm bogged down, I can't compartmentalize. If I feel it, it's right there on my sleeve for all to see. I hate that. And four, I'm not terribly pleased with my physical state right now. After losing a hundred pounds, I'm about ten pounds heavier than I want to be. Granted, ten pounds is not that big of a deal. But...when you used to be morbidly obese, ten pounds can feel like the slippery slope towards some serious backsliding, and so help me, I don't think I can stomach going backwards in that department--PLUS, I have alopecia. So I rang in the big 4-0 with a bald head. Talk about a blow to the ego.

I found myself spending my birthday here in South Korea waiting for a phone call, an email, a social media post....that never came. I know that waiting for stuff like that is foolish, and sitting around tangled up in stress only exasperates my hair loss. I know that my happiness shouldn't be hinged to how other people make me feel, or how they choose to act, but it's almost impossible not to be hurt. I'm not made of stone. In fact, I think I'm made of tissue paper, easily ripped and torn.

My cousin sent me some goat cheese (very hard to find here in South Korea)...and we all know there is no better gift than cheese.

I'm hoping that 40 gets better. I'm praying that I can get through this year and find some sort of acceptance for the things I cannot change. Family problems, hair loss, living abroad...all these things that make me want to curl up and hide, need to become non-issues to me. I need to accept my 40 year old self, flaws and all. And I intend to get there.......eventually.

My friends and family here in South Korea did everything they could do to make my day awesome, and I could literally never thank them enough for that. My children woke up early (which is difficult, as my 17 year old is NOT a morning person!) to decorate the house. They had banners and balloons everywhere, and woke me up with cheesecake and candles. Then I had lunch with some friends, who introduced me to "shabu-shabu", which I originally thought I hated, but this place was phenomenal! They gifted me a certificate to get a pedicure at a local salon--which was a real treat because mani's and pedi's here are hella expensive! Then, after lunch, my husband and daughter made me dinner. We were going to go out, but since you can't get a decent steak here in South Korea (no lie--these places cannot figure out how to properly cook a steak!) I requested ribeye and sea scallops. It took them a very long time...and so help me, made a colossal mess, but they did an excellent job. All in all, they did a great job, and I felt very loved.

Some really incredible ladies came to celebrate with me. (Left to right) Neeti, Carisa, Dalit, Minu, Noel, me, Lourdes, April, and Sarah. I'm very blessed.

Shabu-shabu lunch! So good...taking my family back this weekend. 

I've got confidence that 40 will grow on me. I'm only a few weeks away from visiting the USA for the summer, and I think that will help my morale. Life abroad itself isn't bad, but life here in South Korea has been challenging, and I think some time on American soil will do me some good. My prayer is that my batteries will recharge, and I will be excited to come back to Songdo for another year! 40 can suck it! 40 can eat my dust! Maybe my life isn't perfect, but maybe 40 will look good on me. Who knows?

Talk to me in 1 year, and I'll let you know....maybe by the time I turn 41, I'll be a tough, sexy broad who couldn't give two rips whether or not anybody likes me. Maybe I'll be a blonde for my next birthday. :)