As I have gotten older, birthdays have become less of the big deal they were when I was younger.
Of course as a child, birthdays were eagerly anticipated and I was proud to show how many fingers old I was. The birthdays in my 20's were full of frivolous fun that included surprise parties and dinners that spanned for hours and consisted of dessert.
Those birthdays also reminded me one day, I'd be in my 30's and that was, well, almost middle-age at least to me.
A week or so ago, I turned 39. My stomach just twisted when I typed that.
When my Mama turned 40, she stayed in bed all day. I soothed her by telling her to look on the bright side; she was closer to drawing her Social Security. I was 11 and full of enough youthful sass that those words should come back to bite me in the near future.
So instead of declaring a new decade next year, I am going to celebrate 39 again.
That gives me one more year to try to get things accomplished I wanted to before I turn the big 4-0.
Those things I thought I would have ticked off my bucket list before I turned 30 but the opportunities passed me by. Like having model flat abs, or learning how to speak French; I'd love to get my cosmetology license or go to culinary school so I could be a pastry chef.
Mama reminds me daily it's still not too late for law school. I'd rather learn how to play guitar so I could get on stage with a rock band. I had hoped to have a book published before I was 40 so this will give me at least one more year to pursue that dream too.
Maybe more, depending on how many times I choose to turn 39 in the coming years.
Before I reach that milestone birthday, I hope I have learned how to forgive and let go a little bit better than I did in my 30's. To show more compassion than necessary and to learn how to hold my tongue instead of spitting out a smarty-pants reponse. And maybe even learn to not take certain things so personal, because it may not always be about me. In short, it looks like there's also some growing up I need to do, despite the age I am by the calendar year.
There's dozens of things I want to do and accomplish that I thought I would do before this next decade rolled around. Counting 39 again will give me 365 days to get more of these dreams accomplished. And I am refusing to turn that corner until those things have been done.
But given the length of my list, it's going to take me at least 10 more years to finally get to 40.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.