Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's good to be 40...reflection

I will never ever forget the sign out in front of my friends' neighbors yard 15 years ago. It read "Lordy Lordy Look Who's Forty, Happy Birthday Russ!" It made us giggle. Back then it seemed like forever until we would be 40 ourselves. Well, forever is here.

I remember my dad's 40th birthday party. I was only there for a second, as it wasn't suitable for us kids with its "Come dressed as your suppressed desire" theme (keep in mind this was 32 years ago), and at that time 40 seemed SO old. But now that I am here, it doesn't feel that way at all. Did my parents feel this young? Do my kids think I am SO old? Reality is, the answer is probably yes to both.

I cherish every decade of my life for different reasons. In my youth, I was focused riding a bike and my 10th birthday. In my teens, it was my first kiss, high school dances, swim meets, and my Olympic dream. Through both stages, I was fairly awkward and a bit shy, and suffered plenty of highs and lows.

My twenties, however, were super fun and centered around self discovery and career exploration. Oh how I loved living in NYC. My girls nights out were paramount, and I felt very free and confident.

But my thirties were really the time when I became me. I thought I knew who I was in my 20's, but I didn't. Nor did I have the guts to really be who I am, to stand tall in my beliefs, and truly know what love and friendship were all about. my thirties brought me motherhood. I always thought I would be a young mom, but I am glad I waited until I was a bit older. I've loved every birthday from 30 up.

Now my forties are here! And this might be kind of weird, but I am so proud to be 40. I love the sound of it and the image that goes along with it. I feel like today's 40-year-old is different than the 40-year-olds of my parents generation. More of us are living truly active lives...just like Sunday when women in their 40s were lining up at the start of the marathon with me. I feel like we have a pretty good handle on health and happiness. On the other hand, it does make me contemplate the fact that I have lived almost half my life. But when I sit down and let that soak in, I can honestly say I am truly content. I am happy and blessed and thankful. Maybe 40 is really the reflection number. It's when you take a step back and look at your world for a second as a painting of your experiences, you soak up everything and everyone that is in it. What a picture it is!
Sweaty Happiness 40th

My 40th birthday celebration theme was "Sweaty Happiness" because my friends and I are started out with a fun run and followed it up with pizza, beer, birthday cake and Thursday Night Football. Ahhhhhh, it's good to be 40.

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