This week's never B4 was easy. The clock did all the work for me. As the seconds, minutes and hours passed methodically from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm yesterday , I experienced, for the first time, what it is like to be 40. Here's a nutshell of what turning 40 felt like for me:
Rain and wind spoiled my original plan to go rock climbing (for real) in Acadia National Park but I decided to take the day off anyway. I jumped in the car and hit the road.
My dad loved a good long drive and I definitely have a bit of him in me because nothing makes me feel more free than the open road, especially when I have no time constraints and no traffic in my way. Yesterday, I was free of both and accompanied by a steady stream of 80's tunes to sing along to -- and sing loud, I did.
The rain stopped, the sun peeked out, the traffic disappeared and Radar Love played on the radio. Suddenly, I had this irresistible urge to see how fast I could get my 8-year old jeep to go. The speedometer tops out at 100 mph and for the first time ever I got the needle passed 90 mph. At 92 the chassis started to shutter and as quickly as my reckless side pushed my foot down, my safe side pulled it up. Yet those few reckless moments got my blood pumping.
I was amazed to learn that Portland Maine has an abundance of spas and after calling around, Akari was able to squeeze me in for a pedicure. So indulge I did and 45 minutes later I walked out callous-free, sporting shiny pink toe nails.
Once I knew that my rock climb was not going to happen, the only never b4 thing I was able to plan was a tattoo. Now, those of you that know me well, also know I'm not brave enough to get a real tattoo. I'm not a fan of pain but body art does intrigue me, so I opted for a Henna tattoo. I met Mary Kearns, a Mehndi Artist, at the Homegrown Herb and Tea House on the outskirts of downtown Portland and as I sipped a Lemon Squeezer Tea and munched on Lavender shortbread, she turned my calf into her canvas.
As Mary swirled her henna bottle across my leg and we both waited for the henna to dry, she shared the story of how she had been given up for adoption, searched for years to find her birth parents, was reunited with them for the first time in New York City on Sept 11, 2001, only to learn that they had lived just miles apart for many years. In fact, her mom and aunts worked in a convenience store that she used to go to all the time as a kid. Luck eluded Mary for so many years only to pop up one day in the form of an email that would eventually lead her to meet birth parents on Sept 11th-- unfortunately on one of the unluckiest days for thousands of people. Hearing such a story, reminded me just how lucky I have been for these 40 years.
It's been a long time since I caught men checking out my legs but I caught 2 yesterday -- thank you tattoo!
All day long I received emails, text messages, phone messages and when I got home, a stack of birthday cards greeted me with more birthday wishes. No matter what method or manner, it's always great to know people are thinking of you.
Even though I didn't meet my goal of doing an adventurous never b4 yesterday, the drive enabled me to reflect on all the things I have done up until now and make a mental list of the many more things I still want to do. There are 6 months left in my never b4 year and I'm more fired up than ever to get out there and try new things.
In the end, turning 40 was nothing. I didn't feel instantly old and no midlife crisis hit. It was, however, something worth savoring and and I'm glad I took the day off to fully experience it.
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