I'm writing this post on the eve of my 40th birthday. My last day as a thirty-something. By the time most of you read this, I will be the dreaded 40. I can't say I'm happy about it, I won't lie. Being born to a 40 year old mom at a time it was definitely not en vogue to have a baby in your 40s, I spent my entire childhood hearing - and believing - that 40 was old. So cut me some slack.
That said, I'm strangely ok with it. Because upon turning 40 I can reflect on where I am and the person I've become in the past decade. And I'm more that ok with that. I'm kind of good with it actually.
At 40, I know that I am a better person than I was at 30. Way better than I was at 20. I'm smarter, more fulfilled, more enriched, and more enlightened to all of the things that really matter in the world.
At 40, I like myself way more than I did at 30. For way too many reasons to list here.
At 40, my marriage is in many ways better than it's ever been. I completely adore my husband and could not imagine a better partner to go through life with.
At 40, I can look back on the past decade and know I crushed it. I mean, the 30s are a time of transition for most of us. A fantastic decade full of possibilities, but also one full of challenges. My thirties, like many peoples', involved starting a family, advancing my career, becoming a home owner, becoming a landlord, and trying to balance it all. But throw in prematurity/CP/cancer/loss of a baby, and I've overcome a few more challenges than I expected when I looked ahead at my future. In fact it's been by far the most challenging decade of my life - and God help me if it isn't the most challenging one I have to experience again. But here I am at the end of it, all the stronger for it.
At 40, I still feel like I have my finger somewhat on the pulse. I still like good music, relevant TV shows and age appropriate fashion. I'd like to think I'm reasonably hip for 40. Although yes, I do realize that usage of the term "hip" negates the cool-factor significantly. I'm trying here.
At 40, I know I'm not the best mom in the world - by a longshot. Most times I realize it's ok to do my best. I still have an insane amount of "mom guilt" like we all do, but I look at my kids and realize that they are some of the most amazing little creatures on the planet, so I'm willing to take a tiny bit of credit for that. And they're all smart so I have full confidence they will get good jobs with benefits and a psychologist will be able to help them through any emotional damage I cause them along the way.
At 40, I know that when I turn 50 I will laugh at the fact that I thought 40 was old. Just like my 40 year old self is laughing at my 30 year old self for the same reason. But I know it's all about perspective and I hope that at 50 I will feel even better about myself than I do now.
At 40, I realize I am a survivor, not a victim. I think that is the best lesson of all.
So I celebrate 40, reflecting on this beautiful life I lead and the beautiful people that make it all matter...
...no matter how O-L-D I am.