Bottom Drawer

Well, I’m 40, have been for almost 7 months now.  It’s official and I’m really good with it.

A few weeks before the big day, I informed Michael that I just didn’t want to do it. I had chosen not to turn 40…just no.  As if I had a choice.

What kind of psychotic control freak must I be?  That’s a rhetorical question.

Try as I may not to fall into the cliche, I really went there this past year.  I felt like I was becoming middle aged…I am.  If I live to 80, I’m half way there.  So stupid, I know.

Michael, of course, is embracing 40.  He welcomed it and the maturity that comes with age.  Of course he does.

All year he  told me to look at the positives and think about all that is yet to come.

On my good days, I did.

I really know that I’m fortunate, I could be unhappy or worse, I could be fighting for my life.  I know there are women that have real struggles and would have told me to shut the hell up.  I wouldn’t blame them.  I told myself the same thing from time to time.

So, what was my deal?  Why was 40 such a problem?  I think I’ve figured it out.

It’s my bottom drawer, there wasn’t really enough in it going into 40.

People embrace getting older because with it comes a sense of contentment, peace.  They’ve lived through their wild 20’s and their formative 30’s and as they approach 40 they feel a bit of success and are ready to calm down and enjoy life.

They look back on their bottom drawer, the memories and craziness of their youth. They’ve built upon those experiences, good and bad.

My bottom drawer is pretty small.  I was a straight laced child, an overachieving teenager.  I always followed the rules.  I married young and had children young.  I lucked out and found a partner early in life.  There was no need to have nameless sex or date a million men.

I found my match and I married him.  I didn’t screw it up by telling him I wasn’t ready, or I needed to “find myself”.  I have no regret stories or “ones that got away.”  I dated my first couple of years in college, but they were pleasant and…well, boring.  Nothing to put in the bottom drawer.

Since getting married I have had three beautiful and healthy babies, traveled all over the place and had, for the most part, a very blessed life.  I’ve had shitty things happen to me and I’ve been treated unkindly, but that’s not really bottom drawer.

I’ve written 2 books and my first one will be published this year.  Why is that not bottom drawer?

Please, I’m talking about Mardi Gras beads, backpacking through Europe and love letters. There need to be some mistakes in the bottom drawer. Mistakes are made when you’re young and can move past them.

I know people with really large bottom drawers and while they tell me the bottom drawer’s really not all it’s cracked up to be, I think they say that because…they have one.

So, without a notable bottom drawer, how does a woman move forward gracefully into her 40s?

I’ve got the who I am part down, at least who I am for right now.  I have my own interests and I kind of like me.  I’m quirky and that’s good.  As for nameless sex or dating, yeah Michael’s really supportive, but I’m not sure he’d be open to issuing a Hall Pass.  So, that part of the drawer will have to remain as is.

I could still go to Mardi Gras, albeit I won’t be a stupid 24 year old that will drink way too much and wake up on some stranger’s couch.  I’m just too smart for that bottom drawer story now, but I could and I will go for the experience.

Maybe I’m just one of those people that is still adding to the bottom drawer. Some people fill it up when they’re young and close it as they approach 40.  Maybe mine will just stay open.

I’ve learned that there’s something lost when you don’t put things in the drawer while you’re young and silly, but there’s nothing I can do about that now.  Choices have been made and I like my life.  I’ll just have to imagine the damn drawer.

I have a friend that had sex in an elevator with a man she’d just met in a meeting. Damn, that’s so bottom drawer material.

That’s all from the laundry room.  Stay out late.

adulthood age crazy life daily thoughts female life meaning midlife older thoughts women

6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This resonated with me *a lot*!!
    I understand what the previous commentators are about – but I very much know how you feel. Or so I presumptuously think. Even though I haven’t married yet or had a chance to do the whole kid and caboodle thing.
    I don’t have the eleventh hour panic, but I do feel a bit midlife crisis-y at this point of my life. Probably seeing the 40’s creeping up quicker then I could have imagined they would.
    So I have every intention – using your analogy – to fill my bottom drawer. Not by catching up on teenage/twenties mistakes, that I never made being that annoyingly goody-good shoes, but with experiences that I wouldn’t do before because [insert all kinds of excuses fueled by hesitation, fear, “common sense”, parental voice in back of head…]

    • Oh, fill that drawer. I really think it makes the transition easier. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be stupid things, but things you will do before there are other people in your life and before there’s too much to lose. Get a little nutty for me too. Thanks for your comments.

  2. I think you’ve been selective with what you’ve placed in your bottom drawer and that is perfectly fine. Reason being is if you hadn’t been selective you wouldn’t be you now. I might have a few things in my bottom drawer but If i had to do it over again I would have done things differently and ended up with less in my bottom drawer…. more selective!!

    I too had a problem turning 40 and 41 and yet again this year 42. I think it’s because I still want to be in my twenties!! I was tighter, smoother, perkier, less hair on my chin… LOL

  3. Okay, this is one of those where I forgot my mother reads my blog. Hahaha.
    I’m sure as a parent, the smaller the bottom drawer the better. Lord knows, I don’t want my children to have endless bottom drawers, but a decent size would be best. That’s an interesting perspective. Not sure I want to even think about their bottom drawer. Oh, and bottom drawers really need to be for the young and foolish. Older women trying to build a bottom drawer…that’s just silly.

  4. Well here goes. As your mother I am very happy you have a small bottom drawer. There is a period of time in your child’s life that you just want them to get through safely. I hear what you are saying, but is the trade off for a full bottom drawer really worth it? Did it ever occur to you that it is just who you are? I bet if you had it to do over you wouldn’t change a thing.
    Who says the bottom drawer is reserved only for the young and foolish?

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