Well, it happened.
The first of my set of high school girlfriends turned 40 a couple of weeks ago.
Sarah's birthday was on March 5. This will be followed by my 40th birthday May 23, Michele's birthday on Aug. 24, Emily's birthday on Nov. 3 and Traci's birthday on Nov. 10.
We started planning last year that we would all get together to celebrate all of these milestones (we'll probably combine Emily and Traci's, but that hasn't yet been confirmed).
Thing is, instead of feeling down that we're reaching the big 4-0 milestone, we all seem pretty OK with it. Sarah's celebration was a ton of fun, and I'm really jazzed that I have more of them to look foward to.
It's like I told Michele ... aging would probably bother us a lot more if we didn't get so much cooler every year.
It's funny ... I don't feel much different mentally than I did when I was 17. I still love my life. I still want to have fun. I still want to spend time with my friends.
I mean sure, I have this career. I'm married and I have kids.
But I'm still me, and no matter how many years I have under my belt, that's never going to change. There are certain things that time will never take away from me, and I like that.
Sarah is single. She's been in serious relationships over the years, but she's never been married.
It's just her and her three cats, Carter, Liza and Maggie at the moment, and she's fine with that.
Anyway, for her birthday celebration, a very large group, including all of us from high school and a bunch of Sarah's other friends, got together for dinner first. Then we went to one of her favorite clubs in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The good thing about this club was that there were actually two separate rooms -- one where the DJ and dance floor were located, and another with the bar and tables.
This way, those who wanted to dance could do so, and those who wanted to sit down and talk could hear one another.
At least sort of.
I sat at a table with Sarah's brothers, Jason and Josh, my husband and Josh's wife.
Jason was my best friend my junior and senior years in high school. I don't get to talk to him often ... we send little notes back and forth on Facebook, but we both hate talking on the phone, so we never call one another.
I marveled that Sarah seemed to know everyone in the club.
"We'll be back here in 30 years doing this for her 70th birthday," he said. "This is what she does."
Well, good for her. I hope Jason is right.
The group of us decided that instead of dreading our 40s as those who manufacture the black balloons and "funny" cards about how it's better to over the hill than buried under it would have us believe we should, we were going to take another tack.
We are going to rock our 40s.
For the next 10 years, we are going to do the things we've always wanted to do.
We are going to have fun and embrace the women we are becoming.
So I'm starting to get a little arthiritis in my knee.
And yeah, Emily has that foot she broke a couple of years back that hurts when it rains.
Sarah's had heart surgery, and Traci's prescription for her glasses gets stronger every year. Michele, our hippie girl vegetarian, develops a new allergy every year.
No matter. As Michele said, we had the foresight early on to surround ourselves with phenomenal people who were going to go the distance with us.
Here's to the next 10 years!