No, it's not today. It's tomorrow. And as you ALL MUST KNOW BY NOW, I am turning 40. I have been basically obsessed with this fact since I was 38.5, so I feel a sense of relief that my b-day is tomorrow and it will be official. 4. fucking. 0. And really, Thank God. Thirty-nine is so ominous--so it's almost here. Forty is just clean. It is even.
By the way, my birthday makes me a Cancer in terms of astrology. Although you likely won't admit it, you do know a bit about the signs. Am I right? Maybe not if you are a guy, but definitely if you are a girl. My rising sign is Scorpio, by why of explanation, because if you do know something about the signs, you would know that Cancer doesn't appear to quite fit. (No need to mention that this may be b/c astrology is bullshit.)
If I had my choice I would be an Aries. I love Aries. They are confident--cocky even. I also like Virgo, because they are steady and intellectual. I am not steady at all. I could use some steadiness.
That was a throw-away paragraph, and normally I would delete it for this reason, but it's almost my birthday, so I am keeping it even though it doesn't fit.
I am not saying much this morning, but I will say this:
Yesterday I went to a swim meet and watched my daughter compete in the 100 meter fly--long course--at MIT.
She is eight.
100 METERS FLY.
It took her a long time--2:45 to be exact. The first 25 was just beautiful. Her stroke is nearly flawless now--for 25 meters, anyway. Then it begins to fall away. She began breathing every stroke at about the 40 meter point. At the turn I thought for sure she would pause to compose herself.
But she didn't. She just kept going. No, it wasn't especially pretty. Her arms barely skimmed the surface, and by 75 meters it looked as if she was practically swimming in place. But she didn't give in. She didn't do a breaststroke kick (which would've disqualified her). She just kept going. And she finished. I couldn't see her face because she was at the far end of the pool, away from me. I saw she allowed the timer to help her out of the water.
When I watched her finished I got teary.
Everything makes me teary right now, of course. I am celebrating a big b-day, today is the week anniversary of letting Linus go, in a few days time I am doing an Ironman and I am very very nervous about it. Still, I think the tears may have been just because her finishing was poignant.
You need to keep going.
After you turn 40, after your puppy dies, when you are in the second half of the marathon of an Ironman, when you are swimming the 100 meter fly in a race.
You keep going. It is that simple.
When I asked her how it was she said simply, "It was tiring." Then I asked her what her favorite event was that day. She had done a 50 meter free, 50 meter breast, 100 meter back, too. (The day previous was 50 fly, 50 back, 100 breast. 100 free--Big weekend for a little kid!)
Anyway. I thought she would say the 50 meter free, in which she PR'd and placed well. But you know what? She said she liked the 100 fly the best! "Really?" I said. "But why?"
"Well, because I felt like I really did something. And now I want to try it again. I know I could swim it better next time."
GOD I felt connected to her in that moment. I get that, Jordan. I get it.
Bring on the Ironman.