Stage 1 - Shock and Disbelief
I was telling a story to the boyfriend, and I mentioned "when I was 16" and then I realize that I was 16 TWENTY YEARS AGO. Huh??? How the heck is that possible? I start running all the scenarios through my head.....perhaps I'm mistaken, after all it's only 2006 and I was born in......1970. And I shake my head wondering if I was asleep this whole time because I could swear my high school graduation was just a few years ago. I guess I should say "a few decades ago".
2. Stage 2 - Denial
It's not possible that I'm 36. I'm not a divorced, childless woman of 36. No. I think there is a typo on my birth certificate. I was actually born in 1980, so I'm just on the crux of 30. I don't look 36! And everyone knows that appearances are everything.
3. Stage 3 - Bargaining
Let's just say I'm in my 30's, let's do away with specific numerical references to the length of time we have been alive. If we do that, then I'll promise to be nicer to everyone, even those drink my sodas and my boyfriend's beer without permission.
4. Stage 4 - Guilt
This is the easy part. Even I wasn't turning 36, guilt is such an easy fall-back emotion for me. This stage should be called "normalcy".
5. Stage 5 - Anger
I can't really be angry about being alive. The alternative is much worse.
6. Stage 6 - Depression
Said it before, I'll say it again. 36 without a husband and kids. Wow, I've made some really stupid choices, especially during my 20s. That's why I should get credit for my 20s. Give me that decade back (oops, back to Stage 3 - Bargaining).
7. Stage 7 - Acceptance and Hope
Good things about 36 - it's the square of 6; the number of inches in a yard; and the highest number on a Roulette table. I hope that everything I've experienced in the last 36 years helps me become a better human being for my next 36 years.