Dear My 40th Birthday,
When I was young and oh, so naive, I was afraid of you. I was so afraid of you in fact, that I used to say “I will ‘go out’ right before I turn 40. I mean, what’s left to live for? I don’t want to get old and 40… 40 is just young enough to not be old, but any longer than that, and it’s all down hill.”
Yes, I said those words. Over, and over, and over again.
Now, you and I are joining hands together in just a few days time. I will meet you, My 40th Birthday, and instead of being afraid of you, I will welcome you with very open arms.
You see, every year has brought me more and more of what I wanted in my early life, while I was still dumb and afraid of you. I spent my 20’s looking for love and career and being broken by failed promises. I figured out my career and met my husband shortly before I turned 30, got married at 35, started our family at 36 1/2 and completed our family at 39. Sure, I have more wrinkles and more financial obligations. Sure, it will never be practical for me to make leather journals and aspire to sell them like a true Gypsy in farmer’s markets just to earn enough money to sleep in someone’s spare room. Sure, I don’t crash diet every other week, and I’ve got lots of extra padding now. But, those wrinkles are from 40 years worth of memories; laughing with my husband and kids and squinting in the sun. My more practical job has earned me the ability to have a nice house of my own and care for my family financially. My padding? It’s proof that I’ve held 4 babies in my body and 2 babies in my arms, and that I’ve been able to sustain those babies in good health for their first years of life.
I no longer want to “end it all by 40”, I want to start it all more intensely. I want to be able to handle more and accomplish more and be present more and provide more and enjoy more.
My 40th Birthday, you are just the beginning of my life. I welcome you.
Love always (or for the next 10 years anyway),