The Meg Ryan Effect
"I'm going to be forty," she sobbed, blond curls brushing Harry's cheek.
"When?!" he asked, wide eyed.
"Somedayyyyyyyy..." Sally wailed.
And there it is, the cinematic moment when Meg Ryan defined That Birthday as a dark cloud in the distance, a line in the sand, a defining moment where age is divided into two parts: BF (before forty) and AF (after forty).
I've quoted this "When Harry Met Sally" line countless times, drawing out the "somedayyyyyyy" with dramatic longevity and adding faux sobs for effect because That Birthday was soooooooo far away.
But now it's not.
If Billy Crystal looked at me with a wide-eyed "When?!" my answer would be "next year". Next! Year!! Yeah, I'm pretty sure, a big ol' tear would roll down my cheek as I said it. One may or may not be rolling down my cheek as I type this! I'm not sure how I feel about forty. Part of me is totally cool with it. I love getting older and don't mind the ups and downs of age, even though it includes a few gray eyebrow hairs and a wrinkle that somehow slices across my nose.
But at other times, That Birthday feels scary. I'm not rich enough, successful enough, Botox'd enough to turn 40 yet! Wait, wait, I've not even made my first million yet!
Truth is, Fortieth Birthday doesn't give a shit. Ready or not, here it comes!!! So, in the spirit of facing life with courage and humor, I decided to create a list of 40 things to do, experience, and accomplish before That Birthday. They are all attainable, if not slightly out of my comfort zone (god help me), and all designed to celebrate this crazy-ass ride we call Life.
I will complete the list within the 365 days between my 39th and 40th birthdays.
The adventure begins March 11, 2017!!!