Seeing Life at 40: a naked tale of vomit

Somehow, turning 40 feels like I should be wiser. Or at the very least, standing around looking smarter. I am neither and I suppose this story will reinforce that. Don't get me wrong, I have moments of pure genius. But! They are not while others are around to witness my momentary brilliance. No, they are while I stare at my vomit covered socks, shivering and naked.

I guess I should set the scene. This tale of wisdom happened in the winter. Everyone had been sick at my house, and as flus go, it was my turn to carry the puke bucket. The last of the gang, I had already seen my share of vomit that week.

While I stared at my puke-covered socks, I realized that we each have a different style of throwing up. Which didn't make me feel better, but it explained me being suddenly naked, except for the socks. And well, those were about to go, too.

There is the Mad-Dasher. This vomiter WILL make the bathroom at all cost so stay the heck out of the way 'cause it might take some acrobatics to get there and shoving is an option.

There is the Pail-Seeker. This one pauses, looks around for something appropriate to toss those cookies in, and blah, hits it dead on.

Oh my, the I-Will-Never-Hit-A-Pail-So-Why-Bother is the opposite. Even the dog was victimized. Yet amazingly, there is this magical bubble around this one that stays safe, so returning to sleep peacefully while the rest of us look after the mess is possible.

Then there is me. My first stomach twist happened in the car, so you can follow the trail of me getting in the house and to the bathroom by the pieces of clothing I threw up on and quickly discarded (because who wants to take another step in puke covered clothes.) Yup. Scarf, mitts, jacket, boots, sweater, a variety of endless layers, pants, more layers, undies, and that left me staring at the socks. How was it possible to get every single article of clothing I was wearing covered in puke and nothing else? Magic or dedication?

And so here I am suddenly 40 (yes, it came out of nowhere.) and wondering what brilliant thing I can share with the world, and this is the story that comes to me. Why? Because it reflects quite well how life works. We can have a focused goal in mind, or just aim for anything. We can protect ourselves while others suffer. Or we can take the hits and lose bits of ourselves in the process. But the real value of each lesson we learn is found in that moment when we stand naked and stare at our vomit covered socks knowing we will survive.

Deep, I know.
Okay! And now for the birthday inventory. Last one I did was when I turned 35: these were the goals:
my goals at 35;-I want to learn to surf. (I learnt to swim, stood in the crashing, crazy waves and watched others surf up close. Given that I only made it to an ocean a few times, that's a good start.)
-I want to actively participate in community development in another country. (Decided to dedicate myself to this community instead. For now.) 
-I want to hold one of my books, sign my name in it, and hand it to someone who I know will enjoy it. (Hope you enjoyed it.)
My new and improved goals now that I am 40?
-Sleep, nightly. I read somewhere that 35-45 are the hardest years because your aging parents need more attention, your career is at its peek, your children are teens and need you to be a role model and a friend and a dictating monster, you suddenly need to think about planning for retirement and college, and your health is suddenly an issue... So as all this comes crashing on me, my only goal is sleep, so I can survive another one.


Richard Hughes said...

This is too funny, Tanya. Hope I'm never that sick, although I've certainly been sick enough times to know the feeling.

I've got one of those signed copies of one of your books, and yeah I enjoyed it.

So your goal at age 40 is to get a good night's sleep every night. That might happen, but you'll have to turn off a lot of stuff in your mind to do that. And, the saving for retirement part, I recommend you do take that one seriously. You'll be retirement age before you know it.

Vicki Tremper said...

As someone who hit this milestone well before you, let me welcome you to a new decade with open arms and a sore back. Sleep is a great goal and rests you up for all those other unstated goals. Congrats on meeting the goal about holding and signing your book! That's huge!! <3

DUTA said...

Congrats on your joining the 40 year olds! It's not the end of the world, You'll discover it has its advantages.
At 40 you'll start taking yourself and others less serously. You'll get to laugh at yourself and learn that you're not that brilliant; no big deal; helps you get in perspective.

Sleeping nightly is important at any age. Sometimes, especially in winter, I keep asking myself what I would do without a good sleep. Whenever I feel the flu coming, I enter bed, cover myself well and take a sound sleep after which I wake up feeling fresh and free of symptoms.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Thanks Richard, I will take it seriously.

Thanks Vicki! Yup, lots of unstated goals.

Thanks Duta, yup, new perspective is interesting. lol. Sleep is something I rarely enjoyed because of my migraines, but now that they are under control, I can't believe how great it feels to wake up full of energy!!

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