Almost forty and more defiant than ever! (guest post by Darah)

Thanks to Darah Zeledon for this one, don’t miss her links at the bottom!

As I approach the ripe old age of forty, I will begin to entertain all the existential questions about my life- how I´ve led it until now and what is in store for the future. As romantic and appropriately-timed as this may sound, I honestly cannot truly begin to address these issues because I cannot get past the fact that I am just a year away from forty!

I mean, my parents were always forty and they were full-fledged adults talking about mortgages, Tupperware parties, cruise-ship vacations to the Bahamas and car pool schedules. You know, boring stuff that as a kid, I swore to myself that I would never utter a word about such mundane trivialities.

Proudly, I have been true to self thus far as I don´t discuss mortgage rates (because I rent,) I hate Tupperware, (can never match the top to the correct container,) and refuse to have any gathering of Pampered Chef or the like in my house so I am clean in that respect also. My husband and I have sworn off cruise ships due to their inherent lack of spontaneity (besides deciding at which restaurant to dine or what to do with your twelve hours of free dock time.) I do not talk about car-pooling either because I am so overwhelmed just trying not to forget any of my own five children on any given day, that I cannot even fathom taking on the additional responsibility of remembering someone else´s kid.

Interestingly, I AM REALLY twenty-five inside and swear to my two older daughters who are nine and six that I am still the Queen of Cool.  Fortunately, they are still young enough to believe me. In an exaggerated effort to try to uphold the aforementioned truth about being twenty-five, I attempt to move my body like an agile teenager and carelessly throw myself down onto the floor while wrestling my three little ones ages five, three and two.
I end up limping, bleeding, bruised and battered but REFUSE to even acknowledge the unsightly purple marks all over my limbs or blood pouring out of my head-butted nose.

Constantly, I harass my poor husband with repetitive and re-phrased questions; ¨How old do I look?¨ ¨How old would you think I am if you passed me on the street?¨ ¨Do I look older than…?¨ ¨Do I walk, bend, stretch, yawn, sit, stand, run, floss, scratch my ass….(you get the point) like I´m almost forty?¨ It is fascinating how many variations of the same question one could come up with simply by rearranging a few words and taking advantage of all the synonyms of the English language.

He is such a gem and is EXTREMELY CAREFUL with his answers. He pauses and thinks them through like a first degree murder defendant on the witness stand. I listen attentively to his responses and then cross-examine him depending upon any inconsistency I detect with his body language, gesturing, eye contact (or lack of) or intonation. If he cannot find where to run once I start firing at him with these questions, he uncomfortably surrenders to the mental torture “just one last time” because he is such a devoted husband. That is true love.

What is the point of all my strategies you may ask? Defiance! I want to approach forty MY WAY! It is the natural rebel in me that has gotten me in trouble time and time again. But this same maverick-ness gives me the zest I need to keep these little children happy and healthy so it is more of an asset than a liability I reason.
I am not quite certain what I do stand for sometimes, but am crystal clear about what I do not.

I feel I have the experience of a lifetime, (all in just twenty-five short years), and I am quick to give (unsolicited) advice to those around me. This is precisely why I have commenced this journey as a writer. After all, since this financial crisis has hit,  I have been stripped of so many material possessions that all I am left with are my thoughts. And my words are more abundant than ever. 
Mother of five, freelance writer, small business owner, and fitness freak, Darah has just returned to the US after living 9 years with her large brood in South America.  Through an angle of humor, Darah´s uniquely optimistic perspective of raising children in today’s unstable world has been strongly influenced by her experiences running a household and various businesses in several foreign lands. 

Darah Zeledon