First, let me say a heartfelt thanks for supporting my blog! I have way more subscribers, followers, likers, twitterers, etc. than I ever thought possible, so please bear with me as I figure this blogosphere out! I honestly thought my subscriber list would be comprised of a few loyal Facebook friends — and my mom — yet we had more than 600 unique users read my post today. I’m just blown away. I’m not sure if I can keep up with the pace of a blog a day, but I had to commemorate my birthday, so here’s a short piece I put together late last night (probably not the best time to write about getting old…)
So, it’s the eve of my 41st birthday. Ugh.
I know, I know. I am supposed to be all “I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin” and “I love where I am in my life right now.” And I am. Sort of.
It’s not that I’m unhappy or unsatisfied with my life. I would be a real jerk if I was considering how blessed I am. I just don’t want to be any older. Or old period.
I’ve read a lot of great, inspiring posts about growing older gracefully, embracing your “laugh lines”, sporting your gray like a badge of honor…yeah, for me, not so much. I plan on dyeing my hair like Rose Nyland until I’m 90. And seriously, why does Mother Nature punish you by putting the first gray hairs you find in the weirdest places? It’s also funny how your opinion about things like Botox change when you wake up to see the Grand Canyon of wrinkles span your entire forehead (not that I have done it, but let’s just say I’m open-minded.)
But, despite the physical aspects, I’m pretty happy with my life at 30 plus 11 years. There are a lot of great things about finally being comfortable with who you are as a person, and although I still worry too much at times about what other people think of me, I kinda like the person I’ve become.
So, I decided to pour a glass of chardonnay and reflect on some of the things I learned this year. This list probably won’t inspire you to be Fab at Forty. It probably won’t inspire you at all. Hopefully, it will give you a little perspective into the world as I see it (through my contact lenses because my eyes are going):
- It’s okay if I’m not a runner. This past year I have watched so many of my friends accomplish many feats of athleticism when it comes to running. 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, running in your underwear, running in a tu-tu, running and getting shocked, running for four days straight. It is inspiring! But I hate running. I’ve hated running since I almost didn’t get my Presidential Fitness badge in the fifth grade because I barely made the cut-off time for the 600 yard dash. I’ve tried to be a runner for years (I am married to a man who has completed six marathons, and despite being the whitest man I know, I feel quite confident he’s half Kenyan), but I just don’t enjoy it. So, I happily go to a Zumba class, suffer through a Pure Barre session or take a walk with my kids to stay fit. I’m certainly not burning off 1600 calories a session, but I finally feel confident enough to say that I’m not going to try to love something I don’t.
- But you can always try something new. I wish I could say that I took this year to try an ancient form of Karate, or I finally decided to take that sky diving trip, but that’s just not me. I’m not really a risk taker. Not because I don’t believe you should, but again, I just don’t enjoy it. I hate horror movies and was never a big fan of roller coasters. But I do think 40 is a great time to expand your horizons. I went out of my comfort zone on Pinterest and made jello shots for the first time this year. My Arnold Palmers were a huge hit at the neighbor’s Fourth of July Party. Yes, I also took the risk of quitting my job and starting my writing career, but the jello shots really were awesome. You get the point.
- At 40, you really do turn into your mother: I have the exact same stubborn hair follicle pop out on my chin that my mother does. It is ridiculous. I also have had some serious deja vu as I walk over to my children muttering words like: “I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out!” But I also see a lot of my Mom in me in other, less scary, ways, such as my parenting philosophy, and my quest to make the perfect holiday dinner. And as I get older, I realize there are certainly worse things to be than my amazing mom (yes, she reads this blog, so although I would write this anyway, earning some extra suck up points never hurts.)
- Learn how not to be a human scoreboard. It’s never good to keep score in a relationship, whether it is your marriage, your friendships, or your siblings. Whoever said relationships, particularly marriages, were fifty-fifty was smoking the pipe. Sometimes you give more, sometimes you take more, but the point is to be there for the people who need you,. This was a hard lesson for me, and I work on it all the time.
- There is always time for a glass of wine. And if you don’t drink alcohol, have a cup of decaf. For me, having a glass of wine with friends is the equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. I am a better mom, friend, writer, wife, daughter, and whatever other title I wear in any given day because of the relationships I choose to cultivate. And if it’s over a good bottle of KJ, all the better.
So, here’s to another year in the books. My goal this year is to embrace this quote from Sophia Loren: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
If you don’t see a post from me on my trials and tribulations with Botox, you know I’m still working on it.