We’ve all heard them. We’ve all laughed at them. We’ve all cringed at them…
“The best years of a woman’s life- the 10 years between 39 and 40.”
“The ‘I just woke up’ face of your 30’s is the ‘all day long’ face of your 40’s.” -Libby Reid
And the one that was on the t-shirt my mom gave my dad for his 40th birthday, “40 isn’t old if you’re a TREE.”
When I turned 30 it didn’t really faze me. It feels like it was just a few months ago, but I know that isn’t true because last week I turned 39. Steve Miller was right, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’… Into the future.” Getting older doesn’t really bother me any more now than it did at 30. Getting older is a gift, something I feel even stronger about since my mother’s death when she was just 52. So, I celebrate the completion of my 39th year… up next: the big 4-0! It seems fitting that I do something to solemnize the completion of another decade in some way, so I spent this week thinking about what that should be.
I thought about making a bucket list. I have one and I could publish it for the whole world to see. A few of my friends have marked such an occasions with ‘40 things to do before I’m 40’ check lists. Those lists make me nervous. What if I don’t do them all? Sometimes I have a hard time quieting my inner perfectionist.
I thought about making a goal. A friend of mine marked the occasion of her 40th by taking up running and completed a marathon that year. I admire her accomplishment and at one time I seriously considered the challenge, but over the last year I’ve been nursing a foot injury that has been stubbornly slow in healing. I think that one is still a few years out for me.
I thought about going back to school, but I don’t have that I absolutely must or I won’t be complete drive inside me about it. School is a huge commitment that would require finances, time and sacrifices that I am not sure are really worth it for the things I hope to accomplish in my life, and besides, I have a degree, so there’s a little of the “been there, done that” element to that option as well.
So what I have decided to do is write a collection of 40 letters to my kids. When I began this blog I thought I would do more of that here on this site, and as it turns out that isn’t really where things went. Yes, I have written a lot about things that I want them to know, but I haven’t really made Hannah, Rachel and Rylon prominent as my audience. So over the next year, along with the usual style of writing I have done, I will be writing a collection letters specifically written for the 3 precious gifts that are my children. Their questions, their innocence, and their love inspire me and have shaped so much of who I am today. I am humbled and privileged to be their mom.
I also hope you will enjoy the ‘40’ journey with me. Thank you so much for being my audience. Your encouragement and enthusiasm have brought so much meaning to this journey. I am overwhelmed by your support! It humbles me to think that I might have the words that speak into your own stories. To God be the glory.
I couldn’t end without a few more quotes for the road…
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” -John Burroughs
“At 40, every time you suck in your gut, your ankles swell.”