…I took my gorgeous friend out to lunch for her fortieth birthday.  She is stylish and fabulous and fun, and she showed the rest of us just how good forty can look.  (Are you reading this, Michealyn?  See, even her name is cool.)  As I sat at the feet of this woman who really has made forty “the new twenty,” I couldn’t help but think about how forty was just a knockin’ on my door, and how I had a lot of work to do between now and then to ensure that my fortieth birthday would bring me the same fate.  (Funny how I never heard that “forty is the new twenty” when I was twenty.)  If forty is to become my new twenty, then I have a year and a half to:

1.  Erase all my wrinkles.

2.  Lose ten pounds of fat and gain three pounds of muscle.

3.  Convince myself that majoring in English will lead to some kind of employment after graduation.

4.  Re-learn how to flirt.  (See #3.  I needed a backup plan.)

5.  Think that I’m dressing hip when really I’m wearing a denim shirt tucked into white jeans. (True story.  That outfit was one of my faves at BYU.  I thought it was so crisp.)

6.  Dream of far-off adventures in faraway lands, with a happy ignorance to the fact that one day those adventures would occur within five miles of my parents’ house.

7.  Pretend to be recently “mature” while still fighting viciously with my sister over our favorite pair of cutoff jean shorts.  (They were hers, but I stole them repeatedly.)

8.  Think that Robin Hood is an emotionally harrowing movie.

9.  Go completely and utterly broke.

10.  Wait, I have #9 down.