Today is my birthday. I’m turning 42. (Yeah, yeah… I know my name is Forty Fat and Fabulous, but I am still in my 40’s, so I am leaving it for now.) I freaking love my birthday! I try to spend the whole MONTH of November celebrating. Birthday discounts and coupons keep piling in and I am here for it! I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff? On my birthday, I always dress swanky and try to draw as much attention to myself as I can. I mean, after all, it is the one day a year that it can be all about me… all day long!
But, what’s so special about being 42? I mean, it feels pretty insignificant. It’s not the start of a new decade. There are no special rites of passage that happen. Most people don’t think anything at all about 42. I just feel, I don’t know… kind of… old. I feel broken, cranky, and janky. So… in an effort to appreciate 42, I set out to figure out what’s so special about it… you know, other than the obvious fact that I am alive and relatively well.
My mom was 42 on the day I got married. I am now 21 twice over… (which means I have been legal as long as I wasn’t!) In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry discovers he is a wizard on page 42. Jackie Robinson stepped out in courage and changed the sports world forever, wearing the number 42. Buzz Lightyear’s spaceship is named 42. Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest president ever elected at 42. The distance of a marathon is just over 42K. And perhaps most significant of all, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.” (Well, that’s pretty damn special!)
So on this day… my 42nd birthday… I will wear my fabulously sequined dress to school on an average Thursday. I will put on my crown and OWN my classroom. (Hopefully my students will be nice to me today.) I will talk to my family members on the phone and imagine they are nearby. I will enjoy a quiet dinner with the love of my life. Tomorrow, I will go on a Disney date with two wonderful friends. And I will start a new year full of hope and promise. Maybe things are looking up this year.
Happy birthday, Jenn. Here’s to making every moment of 42 count.