Forty is Starting to Look Pretty Amazing...

It's a few days away: my fortieth birthday. I've had a year, well, really 40 years to get used to the idea, but turning forty feels big. And, well, it feels old.

This is what 40 looks like.
But I love birthdays and I want to commemorate my forth decade somehow. I was really close to signing
up for the Pole, Pedal, Paddle. Ever since I was a little girl watching athletes ski, bike, paddle and run from the mountain into my home town, I've thought about doing this race. But this year, with winter barely touching Southern California and a two-year-old attached to my leg most days, I decided this wasn't my time. I thought about a trip to the desert with the girls, or a day at the spa, a pub crawl, or a party. And although all of these sounded fun, I just didn't want any of them enough to make them happen.

Then Gloria Steinem turned 80 last month and this article helped me see not only what 40 looks like, but what 80 looks like as a feminist. And hey, it looks pretty good. So many friends are marking this 40th year and you know what, we all look pretty damn good!

So, as David and I celebrated early in Portland over spring break I decided that instead of one big bash, I'd try to work in forty different celebrations. They could be small moments: an ice cream cone, a cupcake, a bowl of kettle corn, a cocktail or bigger treats that might fall in my lap (tickets to a Dodger suite). I'm fortunate to have lots of friends and family and a couple hundred students to help me celebrate, and if I need to I can count Facebook wishes or even book sales (so if you have been thinking about picking up a copy or two of Through Eyes Like Mine or Overdue Apologies this would be a lovely gift for the author). So here they are, my forty fortieth birthday celebrations so far:

1) Salt & Straw ice cream in Portland
2) Birthday dinner with the family in Portland
3) Dinner date at Toro Bravo in Portland
4) Breakfast at Mother's in Portland
5) Breakfast at O'Groats with Hazel
6) Dinner and drinks at Mexico City
7) Dinner from Mao's Kitchen with Parissa and Jeyson
8) Easter/birthday celebration with family in LA
9) Dodger Stadium suite night one
10) Dodger Stadium suite night two
11) Birthday Blog Post
12) Responses to birthday blog post :)
13) Book sales from birthday blog post :)
14) Friday family night birthday celebration
15) Lunch date at Tripel
16) Banana cream pie at Tripel
17) Breakfast at Bru's Wiffle
18) Dodger game #3
19) Dinner and drinks at Mexico City post Dodger game
20) Finishing that chocolate cake from Pit Fire...
21) Birthday morning with Kiara
22) Morning writing at The Grind with Hazel
23) Birthday banner from ESA :)
24) Birthday lunch from Poquito Mas with Mr. Gantt
25) Happy birthday from my fifth period
26) Gustavo's birthday poem for me :)
27) Birthday run on a beautiful day in LA
28) Birthday present from Soaptopia from Kiara
29) Birthday dinner at A-Frame round 1
30) Birthday dinner at A-Frame round 2
31) Birthday gift of new kicks from David
32) Facebook conversations like a big birthday party and getting to give everyone a hug :)
33) Mariah bringing me a cupcake from HotCakes
34) A visit from my parents and oldest brother and sister
35) Super cute Salt & Straw shirt from big sister
36) Surprise birthday party at Louis with friends and family
37) La Paloma from Louis, or their Grapefruit Ricky with tequila instead of gin
38) The salted caramel bread pudding from Louis
39) Surprise birthday gifts from surprise birthday party (I have uh-mazing friends)
40) Teacher appreciation week recognition I'm going to count as birthday gifts

Thanks, everyone who helped make this such a happy birthday, virtually or otherwise. What an amazing way to kick off the next decade. And if you believe, like I do, that you can never do too much birthday, I highly recommend a birthday celebration per year. You deserve it!


  1. YAY! We made #8. :) Seriously though, I'm so happy to hear that you're embracing your 40th and crossing this new threshold into another phase of your life. It looks pretty good for you from where I'm standing...almost 5 years ahead of you...chronologically. Keep showing everyone around you how 40 ain't old.

  2. Thanks, Roy! Keep leading the way for me.