The Year of Turning 40

I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve tried the 14-day trial and I am not satisfied.

Let me begin by saying that this New Year’s Eve was one of the best nights of my life. After the past year of chaos, emotional upheaval, economic collapse, social isolation, and a steady focus on my word of the year “MODIFY”, it felt good for one night to turn that all off.

We stayed up until midnight, danced to jazz and played family board games by the fire. We nibbled on a charcuterie board, sampled caviar and drank expensive champagne, our festive glistening holiday tree in the background reminding us of a purer times and childlike joy of promising things to come. We ran outside late into the night and lit sparklers, the boys rolling in the snow and squealing with delight beneath the full moon. We laughed. We had nowhere to be, nothing to do, and just enjoyed the moment together. I awoke the next morning with a sense of optimism, hope, and reflection. This is, after all, the year I conclude my 30’s.

But then the next day a feeling that I had looked at the sun just a little too long in my right eye was followed by a rainbow aura filling my vision and I was overcome with the worst ocular migraine of my life, leaving me bedridden for two days and avoiding all forms of light. The Christmas tree got taken down and put on the curb and out with it went the sense of holiday magic. We pulled out our color-coordinated family schedule as the kids went back to virtual school, and Robby and I discussed our various ailments. Slowly, the chaos of the entire world collapsing began to overwhelm me. Then the attack on the US Capital happened and it was like everything I thought was sacred and stable came to screeching halt.

Let’s get one thing straight: this not going to the be year of “getting back to normal”. This is going to be a year of cleaning up after a big fat mess.

Everything is unknown at this point. There is no expert to navigate us through 2021. The world is more divisive than ever before. It’s a strange time, a milestone year, a new leadership year, a year of unprecedented activities and hopefully unity in this fight against a global pandemic. I hope this is a year of innovation. Of willingness to change. The one thing I do know is that my children have adapted in incredible ways to the changes presented to them and are thriving with grace in ways I could not have imagined. There is hope for adults too. It is easy to get lost in all the loss and grief in this world so we are grateful for what we do have, and for that which we can control.

Yesterday my office announced that offices will reopen after Labor Day, just in time to see me turn 40, meaning we will all be edging our way back into life as we knew it. I don’t know what this means for the world or my family, or how I feel about it. But I do know it seems like a fitting book-end to my 30’s, and that I will always cherish this one beautiful night that opened the gates into this auspicious year.