Forty. Four-tee. Four-diddly-oh. Oh shit I’m forty. Four times ten. Thirty plus ten.
Fifty minus ten (I admit I’m not ready for that one yet.) Over the hill. Old. Ancient. Holy crap. Forty is the new thirty. Twenty-nine again. Middle aged. Half way to eighty. Midlife.
My birthday was yesterday. So what did I do to celebrate? The first thing is that I had a really good run in the nice cool air. Oh wait, NO I DIDN’T. I was banned from running, even on my 40th birthday, because of my stupid shin splints. So after I got lots of hugs and kisses from my kids and sent them on their merry way to school, I headed to the gym of all places, so I could be a good student to my coach and hop on the elliptical for 50 minutes. Then I did whatever I wanted and ate whatever I wanted and bossed people around. It was awesome. My husband doesn’t know what makes that different from any other day, but that’s not the point.
Yesterday, I turned 40. Yup, the big FOUR-OH. And I don’t care. I really don’t. I think I’ve been anticipating this for over a year now, so I’m actually relieved that it’s finally here! I’ve heard that when you’re in your forties, you stop caring about those little things that don’t matter. I think I got a head start on that one. I don’t have the perfect body, the perfect clean house, the perfect anything. I swear. I get mad, I get happy, some days I’m both within five seconds. But I don’t care. That’s just me. It’s helped that we’ve been through a lot of crap the last few years. A lot of it hasn’t been good and has caused us a tremendous amount of stress (which caused the swearing to increase). But that’s really what life IS, isn’t it? I’m thankful for all my experiences, where they’ve led me and who I’ve gotten to know because of them. Many of my dreams have come true. I have so many more that I want to pursue, too. They’ll come when I can fit them in between following my other dreams and doing my duty as a mom, as long as it’s balanced with letting me be me.
So what did I do to celebrate besides anything I wanted and
running working out on the elliptical? I went to tour the historic part of my favorite city. I had a really good drink with a crab cake with lunch. I went to the beach. I read about a thousand “Happy Birthday” messages from friends and family on Facebook. I was called old. (You all know who you are.) I was given the most thoughtful gifts from a friend and my family. I danced. I sang. I had fun. I drank beer. I toured more of historic down town and heard stories of people in the past. I drank more beer. It. Was. Perfect. Why would I care about turning 40 when I am happy? Isn’t it more about how you FEEL than how old you are? Isn’t age just a number? Or is that something that old people say to make ourselves feel better? Hmmmm, I guess we’ll never know.
And you know what I did today? I had my first ever pool workout (remember because I have shin splints?) compliments and coached by my very own sister. I have to admit it was challenging and I did gag on the water. But I’m coming back and I look forward to learning a new sport. I’m hungry for it.
So what “words of wisdom” can I give for anyone, no matter where you are on the time-line of life? Hmmmm, live. That’s it. Live your life. Do what you want, which is not to be confused with or switched with doing WHATEVER you want – there’s a big difference. Have goals. Have fun. LIVE your life.