It even sounds kind of old, doesn't it? Like, dangerously close to 40. It didn't really hit me until yesterday, when I turned 37, even though I kind of had it in my head that I would somehow have a birthday, yet stay 36. These last few years of the thirties seem especially precious to me. My twenties were, largely, a bit of a dark phase as I wandered around the earth with no sense of who I was, really grasping at straws. I have, thus far, liked my thirties much better. It is my experience that that people I know -- and women, in particular -- really come into their own in this decade. There's a loss of the frivolous insecurities that plagued us through our twenties and a strength and empowerment that replaces it. That said, I'm not sure what the forties hold and, yes, it may be premature to think about it, but I barely feel like a grown up most days so to think I'm facing 40 in a few years just seems, well, silly. After all, I remember well the surprise birthday party my mother threw for my father when he turned 40. It seems such a...parental age.

But perhaps I should stop worrying about things that aren't here yet and put my energy into being a very good 37-year-old. After all, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and never see 40 and all that worrying would have been for naught.

One last thought, before I leave the subject alone entirely: I think my fear of aging has increased dramatically since my mother died suddenly just two weeks after turning 60. My genetic legacy doesn't seem as bright as it once did, although my paternal grandparents lived into their 80s and my mother's mother is spry at 89. It's hard not to think that my life may be half over already -- and while my childhood seems a far reach away, it doesn't seem quite far enough away. If that makes any sense. Probably not. Okay. I'm done.

On the very, very bright side of things, it was a lovely birthday. It started with a bedside bouquet of stargazer lilies and breakfast in bed from my husband and continued with a showering of goodies, including enough Amazon gift certificates to snatch up all the things on my selfish wish list, my much-coveted Sublime Stitching book, about a thousand gorgeous-smelling goodies for my expanding bath scents wardrobe. I must have the coolest mother-in-law ever, as the birthday card she sent me plays "I Want Candy" when you open it.

In addition to beautiful scents, Chris treated me to a trip to Sephora, which is like taking me to heaven these days, now that my treatment is over and I can try on everything. I come out of there smelling like a whore and looking like a clown who's been punched in the mouth from trying on so much makeup, but I have such girly fun. (I also got to go to the endocrinologist and have blood drawn to see if we can get my thyroid levels in shape, but that doesn't quite sound like birthday fun.)

Then, last night, I did the last session of my current 826 workshop, and Erin and Amy had a lovely little box of Kilwin's chocolates for me. (I don't envy them the willpower required now that the new 826 location is just two doors down from the local chocolatier.) Isn't that so thoughtful of them?

Perhaps most suprising for me was that the gifts from Chris continued this morning, as he declared it a birthday week for me! (I can't even tell you how spoiled I'm getting.) I got some lovely Burt's Bees buttermilke bath soak (meant for babies, but so sweet and comforting smelling), some salt scrubs and, best of all, another Motawi rose tile to add to my collection. (It's the Pasadena rose in retro lime, in case you're as nuts about Arts & Crafts tile work as I am.)

Wait...was I complaining at turning 37? What was I thinking? It seems to rock pretty hard so far.