42 … and The Meaning of Life on My Birthday

the_hitchhiker_s_guide_to_the_galaxy_wallpaper_by_lucaszanella-d6821pmDouglas Adams knew some seriously deep stuff when he wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  When reading it over and over… and over again I convinced myself that really it was similar to a road map of human psycho-social oddities.  I still recommend reading this book only when you are impaired.  It was a rite of passage to do so in College and having read it both sober and impaired I can honestly say… the book takes on a new layer of spiritual awesome when the room is spinning, or when you are mid-way through a can of Pringles contemplating whether the dolphins wrote the book.

By my third margarita I vote… yes.

It’s funny I am thinking about this at 1:50 a.m. on the first day of my 42nd year on this planet.  No, I am not impaired; a tad over worked perhaps and ironing out my latest mythology: life balance.  Pulling myself apart the way a kid pulls apart a wrapped present and then plays with the box instead of the toy, I am fascinating by the wrapping and the layers of stuff I have piled on in 42 years.  I prefer to look at them like rings on a tree stump and I can see the healthy years and the years that were so cold, I didn’t grow an inch tucking inside myself to try to make sense of things that would never make sense, if you see the sense in that then you’re awesome.  I confuse the shit out of myself this late at night.

I know who I love.  I know who deeply matters to me and my heart aches a little that many of them are quite far away.  But instead of dwelling on that because if I do it will entirely mess up my birthday I will consider how lucky I am to have the loving, strong, wise and intelligent people I do in my life.  You know if I love you (come on now … I can’t keep anything in!).  Know that I am always working on myself to learn to love people better.

My parents were shit.  I had to take the crash course and the supplemental “Rosetta Stone” for emotionally derailed sensitive writers.  “How to love family and friends in four easy steps….” the bane of my recovery is “forgiveness”. Saying it is easy.  Actually “doing” forgiveness is hard.  I’ve started this year by giving it as a gift and letting some people know that I am older now.  I am the Zen Lori of 42 and I understand… how someone can not be themselves when everything feels or seems dire.

I mean… from time to time I have been known to display a temper *cough*.

 42. Forty-two.  Fort-ee twooo… 

I told myself awhile ago that I wanted to live until I was 91 and thus was not entitled to have a midlife crisis until about 45.5.  I have that scheduled.  I’d like to celebrate it by being the sexiest, hard body bikini Step-Mom in Texas.  I can do it.  The Pringle’s sadly, must go.

Hello 42 year old me.  You were supposed to have published three books by now and been the reigning queen of horror movie screen plays.  You were supposed to have met Stephen King by now and traveled to Dubai to play slots and lose at the Black Jack table with a Corona in one hand and a concerned spouse in the other. You were supposed to have a house and social life where people stopped by for a beer anytime because the door was open and a house with a pool, with friends grilling and chilling every weekend.  The red Audi that mocks me on the commercials… that was supposed to be on the road, chalking up speeding tickets for me already.

I was supposed to have a boat (no I would not pull it with the Audi … a husband with a truck was always the plan). The kind that held up to 15 people and had one of those bitty beds and toilets underneath so that I could anchor up and sleep the night on the high “fresh water” sea and feel very… Hemingway.

I was supposed to be a gourmet everything.  I’ve mastered meatballs, lasagne and banana bread.  The rest is a work in progress and I am not allowed to light the BBQ here in Texas either.  What?…

But you know what I did do by 42?

I removed myself from a toxic situation.  Okay two… fine, there were four. I learned to start a business, run a business, work a business and explore all the joys of being an entrepreneur.   I learned how to do magic tricks with money and attack my debt like I attack a chocolate bar.   I learned to be more expressive with those that mean a great deal to me.  I learned to work harder than I thought I could, and to knock down walls in the process of moving from Canada to the United States.   Bad things happened.  Those things matter less these days.  What matters is that I didn’t let it stop me.

The things I haven’t done are simply the things that are yet to come. The people who are part of my life are deliberately part of it for a reason.  I see the growth; I like my forties so far because things are only just starting to truly make sense to me.  Life, the Universe… you know, important things.

A friend told me recently that I needed to stop looking for broken things in me to fix and simply… allow people to love me.  I’m only the “open and trusting girl” I used to be on paper.  In private, this heart has been on lock-down.   For my 42nd year I am going to focus on making this next chapter feel like home and be kinder to myself.

And get impaired and watch Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy again because it seems epic this year because… well, you know.  And kiss my amazing husband and the love of my life.  Snuggle two adorable sons… get licked by my beloved pooches.  Listen to the laughter of some of my nieces and nephews and smile in the deep bits of me and miss the ones I miss quietly, because missing them out loud doesn’t help.  But in case you are reading this and one of them, yes, I do.  Every day.

Level 42 was named after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  No one ever believes me when I say it, so Google it.

PS: I can lip sync the shit out of this song… just sayin’…