Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Big 4-0


I just turned 40.  Whoa.  The Big 4-0. 
Surprisingly, I couldn't care less.  I think 40 is way better than 20. 
Here's why:

I know who I am. 
Looking back at my younger years, I almost feel sadness for that girl trying to find herself.  Now, I know what I stand for.  I know my beliefs. I know my interests.  And I'm cool with it.  Now that I've become a little more, um, seasoned, I am content and happier with who I am.  Isn't that everyone's goal? 

I know life is short.
I have come to realize what matters in my life.  Hard to believe, but it's not money, or a house, or fame, or recognition.  It's family.  Loved ones.  Happiness.  Precious Moments (No, not those dust-collecting statues of little kids in a rowboat.).  People who support me.  Memories.  Connection. Doing what inspires me.  There are too many reminders every day of how short life is.  On my deathbed, I know I wont be thinking "Man, I wish I had that bigger house or had more money."  The only thing left is relationships. Life is short, and I cherish what matters now more than ever.

I know who my people are.
Sorry, but when you're a mom of a certain age, you just don't have the extra energy for people that judge you, or don't treat you well.  I know my people. I know who gets me. I know who respects me.  I know who is REAL.  Ain't nobody got time for toxic people in their lives.  I cut a couple of those people out of my life, and I don't regret it.  I loved myself enough to stop allowing the disrespect and lies.  Surround yourself with people who love you for you. And the occasional crazy relative.

I know my likes and interests.
Wow. This really is life-changing. What are your interests? I mean, deep down.  Your core values.  What fascinates you and excites you?  I used to think I had to "find myself."  But I've come to realize that my passions really have not changed much since childhood.  I like what I like, and that's okay.  That's good enough.  As I'm entering this new phase in life, I'm learning what it's like to be even more real and to live authentically.  I'm pursuing more of what I love, and it feels good.  Living someone else's dreams can only lead to resentment.

I am stronger.
I would call myself pretty easy-going when it comes to most things. Where to go eat. Changes in plans.  Whatever.  I can go with the flow.  But something happens when you become a wise, old parent.  You become a ferocious beast that would do anything for your family. You would face any obstacle or criticism. You would climb over mountains and walk though fire for your children. Once you know better, you do better. You find strength and determination you never knew you had.  It's fascinating, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I give myself grace.
This one is so hard, but I'm working at it harder.  I'm not Supermom.  I don't always have it all together.  You probably don't want to eat off my floors.  There are piles of papers and laundry.  I don't have abs or buns of steel. I don't look like I walked out of a fashion magazine.  But the biggest and best lesson I've learned is that I don't have to be perfect to be good enough.  Read that again, peeps.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO BE GOOD ENOUGH.  This has taken me so long to "get."  To really get. 

I have the arms of my precious children around my neck no matter what my hair looks like that day.   If I am late, the world will keep spinning.  My husband loves me even if the house isn't perfect.  My family still needs me even if my dinner tasted awful.  God loves me.  I am loved.

Grace and love for yourself.  It seems so unattainable, but it's so worth reaching for.

So with that, I say "sayonara, 30s."  I am giddy with excitement about what the next decade wants to teach me.

Life is good.
Not over the hill yet.