Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reflections on turning 40

April is my birthday month. And this year it's a big birthday for me. It is the big 4-0.
How did I get here?
How am I turning 40? Say it isn't so.

Let me backtrack a bit. Let's talk about the year I turned 20. I was never that person that was oh-so excited to enter my 20's. Even back then, I guess I recognized the value of my youth. I remember on the eve of my 20th birthday, I was lamenting to my college roommates that I would no longer be a teenager. I was leaving my teens. And entering my 20's. Sniff.

Fast forward to the year I turned 30. For some reason, turning 30 was never a big deal to me. Maybe it was because I was distracted with my wedding. Basically I turned 30 on April 16th. And then on April 17th, I got married. So...yeah. I had bigger fish to fry that year. I was in the middle of planning a wedding and my honeymoon, and I was enjoying newly-wed bliss. Turning 30 never really bothered me.

And now, here I am. Ten years later. And I am about to turn 40. It's not an age I want to be. After all, that means I am half-way to 80. Wowser. And it means that people in their 20's look at me as "that middle-aged un-cool woman."  How can that be? I still think of myself as young. And I am definitely way cooler than I was in my 20's. Ask my husband. He will tell you.

Turning 40 also means that people are often calling me "ma'am". . What to the what? I am not a "ma'am." That sounds so...matronly. In fact, when the man at the bank happened to called me "Miss" the other day, I wanted to give him a kiss. Sadly, those days of being called "Miss" are few and far between. So I will take them when I can get them!

Anyway, instead of lamenting about turning 40, I am going to try a different tactic. I am going to embrace it.
At this point in my life, all those crazy insecurities from my 20's and 30's have disappeared. I now own my own thoughts and feelings, and I am confident.  I could really give a flying flip what people think about me. (Okay. Well - maybe I do care. Just a little bit.) But - most of me says, "Like me. Or don't. Take me for who I am. Or don't." That feels freeing to say. I don't need to please everyone. I just need to please myself and be happy with who I am.

I also have to look at where I am in my life. I am married. I have two kids. I have a house. I have a job. I have a great group of girlfriends. I am healthy. What more can I ask for?

So. Here I am. I have just a little more than two weeks with being able to say I am 39. And I am okay with that. I am ready for the next decade. Bring it on. Let's make this happen.


MaryT said...

You are way cooler than you were when you were 20!!!!!

Darlene said...

and you look the same as when you were in high school. Yes you are cooler. You have run a marathon!!