There are a lot of funny dating after 40 memes and dating after 40 quotes. Being newly divorced, I’m encountering them day-by-day. While they always give me a giggle, they also have a darker implication for me. Dating after 40 and divorced is an uncomfortable, weird place to be. It’s not all How Stella Got Her Groove Back. It’s more like Crazy, Stupid, Love. Except you don’t get back together with your ex at the end. And, I’m Steve Carrell.
Saturday, the Ex and I took Penelope to Leone Beach in Rogers Park to go swimming. One of us has taken her up to the beach or it’s attached park every day since it started getting nice out. In April, that was mostly the Ex, as I was still locked in my apartment on quarantine. Since Peej and I have returned from my parent’s house it’s been me taking her up there every morning between 9am and 11am (when she turns into an absolute crank monster.)
What I have not done is take her in the water to swim. First, it’s ice cold still. I’m a tough broad who loves to swim and I still shouted “fuck it all to hell” when I dove into the water recently. Second, Peej is fast as a cheetah and still has a hard time listening and following directions. This is a recipe for a disaster.
I definitely needed backup there if I wanted to take her into the water past her ankles.
November this year marked a pinnacle birthday for me: 46 years old.
Some people would think that the age 45 is the real important birthday, but actually it’s 46 that you should be more concerned with. Because the moment you physically turn 46 you are closer to 50 than you are to 40 and more than half of you life is over. (The average age of death of women in the USA is 78.69 years, so really a few months before you turn 40 half your life is over. Men figure out your own actuary tables.)
I mean unless you’re Kane Tanaka and you live to be 117 (and, counting) this is a verified fact. Give or take a few years. More than half your life is gone.
If you’re incredibly morbid (like me) this makes you think about stuff (and, gives you panic attacks in the middle of the night…) things like: My Mom is about to turn 70 this year, this means that I might only have a decade or so left with her, if statistics are right. (I, an atheist, pray that my Mom lives to be vibrant and old like Kane Tanaka.) Fuck, I talk to my Mom every day and she’s my absolute #1 best friend in the world. How do you negotiate that loss or learn how get along without those conversations (my Mom, who as you might guess, is wise and pithy, says “you adjust.” Because she had the same relationship with my Grandma, who left her much earlier due to dementia, and my Mom had to let go far before Grandma died. Sad, true story.)
That also means that (if statistics are right) Peej will likely be in her mid-30s when I shuffle loose this mortal coil (again, atheist, praying for Kane Tanaka.) There are so many more things she’s going to need from me when that happens. How do I prepare myself and her for the fact that this could happen and make sure I tell her all the important stuff she needs to know before it does?
Well – maybe she’ll look back on this blog and my other writing and realize how much love and devotion and care and thought I put into parenting her and she’ll take comfort in that. I hope.