Lora Abernathy: Don’t get up, I’m young enough to stand

As we age, most of us dread the decade milestones on our lives — whether it’s turning 30, 40, 50, 60, etc., reaching those ages can bring with them traumatic reminders of the passage of time and our own mortality.

I might be the exception.

A decade ago, I actually looked forward to turning 30. I felt it was very respectable age, both in life and in my career.

I’m even looking forward to turning 50 a decade from now. I can’t wait to see how I look and feel. Will I still fit into my favorite pair of jeans? Will the crow’s feet be showing in the corners of my eyes? How gray will my hair be? What friendships will I have?

As you’ll read in Kay Frances’ column in this issue about birthday milestones, turning 40 has its unique challenges.

According to Kay, “Younger people on the bus look at you like they don’t know whether they should give up their seat for you or not. To them, you’re old but not that old.”

By the time this issue of Salt publishes, I will have turned 40. I’m proud of this age, all I have accomplished, the passions which have compelled me to try and learn new things, the tenacity to see them through.

Since I was in high school, I’ve been obsessed with quotes. As I hit the big four-oh, I’ve been thinking about some of the pieces of wisdom that have been a cornerstone of my 40 years. Here are a few that are so dear to me.

• “The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.” — Henry David Thoreau

• “Don’t let school get in the way of your education.” — Unknown

• “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matthew 6:33

• “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” — John Lennon

• “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

• “Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’” — Unknown

As I get older, my memory certainly isn’t what it used to be either, and, at 40, I have a new favorite quote: “Not only is my short-term memory terrible, but so is my short-term memory.”

Here’s to a great summer, and if you see me on a bus, please don’t offer me your seat. I won’t feel insulted, I’ll just feel young!

Salt Magazine