What I Know About 42

I’ve learned a little about 42—the answer to life, universe and everything—in my twenty years of marriage to an avid Douglas Adams fan.

I am not 42, but Paul is. And we’re celebrating. It is his number for life, his answer for everything. Even though I’m not even turning 40 until next year, I’m claiming his 42. I’m going to flit right over my obligatory 40 doldrums because we’ve already shared his. I’m ready to break free of that quandary that one of my favorite bloggers wrote about today.

No, I don’t have all the answers for my life, but. . .

I know that appearance matters but it’s keeping us from cherishing reality. This Martha Stewart cake took 4 times longer to make than the posted preparation time, and in the end it’s still quirky and original and not at all like the picture perfect number cake that inspired it. It tastes great, but it should–with 1.5 lbs. of butter. You never can have too much butter.

I know that once we reach a certain level of familiarity with someone, we stop looking deeper. I know that even though I gathered a list of 42 Q&A about my husband from his friends and family, many of his oldest friends still learned something new. I could learn 42 new things about him every year if I opened my eyes—and my heart—a little wider.

I know that the number isn’t important, but marking time brings a sense of satisfaction. Not many people like counting their age as it goes up, but I love counting the years I’ve spent with my husband, in our home, as a family. I don’t feel like these years are fleeting; instead they show our tenacity to endure them well.

I’m glad I found my 42, that I don’t have to have an answer to everything, but that I can, like Paul’s taught me, make it up as I go along.


  1. Rebecca
    Feb 11, 2011

    I know the cake isn’t the point of your post, but seriously, good job! And even though I’m not close to my 40’s, I feel the same way about birthdays. There’s no reason to get sad about being older. It’s just reason to celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened in life!

  2. L Jensen
    Feb 11, 2011

    I love the way you always see beyond the surface. You really do have a great husband. Keep hanging on and hanging in together and someday you will see the blessings of your struggles together.

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