My birthday is coming up this week. What does it all mean?
I’ve been having a bit of a struggle with this milestone. I’ve spent many nights awake thinking about it. Worrying about it. But it’s just another day. What is age anyway?
I have very clear memories from my childhood of the 40th birthday parties my Mom and Nan hosted for family and friends. They usually involved some prank gifts, and “Over the Hill” banners. In fact I may have printed one or two of those on my old dot matrix printer that was hooked up to my Commodore 64! I remember thinking then, how old these people were. I find myself thinking to those preconceived ideas and now that I’m here at the edge of 40, what is it but a number? I’d rather measure 40 as an accomplishment! In the last 40 years I have met some amazing people, visited some beautiful places and done awesome things. Can you imagine what 80 will look like if I can double all of that?
I can’t sum up the last four decades of my life easily. I can tell you that the first 10 years of my life were filled with love. Being the only child, my parents and my grandparents spoiled me and let’s be honest it’s not secret, overfed me! But I’m not holding a grudge. While I was bullied a lot in the first 10 years of my life by schoolmates and neighbourhood kids, the next 10 years weren’t as rough. We moved into a new neighbourhood, and I made more friends. I graduated and got my first job, first car, first serious boyfriend. The lessons that came at the end of my second decade were character building. I can honestly look back at those times and ask two questions: What the hell was I thinking? and Who was that girl? Looking back on that 18 to 20 year old window, I can’t tell you who I was then. I didn’t have a clue and I do not recognize that person at all. To be honest for most of my 20’s I was still struggling to figure out my identity. I married, divorced, moved back home. My 20’s had many ups and downs. My 30’s however… Things finally started to make sense! I got my bearings professionally! I finally settled down with the right man! Finally realized I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t to please others. My 30’s have been very empowering!
So I’m going to try to not dwell on what society thinks 40 should be, and know that I’m where I am supposed to be, when I am supposed to be in my life. I have no regrets. I will enjoy all the cake and celebrations. I’ve survived 40 years of the sweet and the sour. 40 is ever so sweet because of that sour. Raise a frosting covered fork with me while I claim my 40’s to be the decade of my life that is filled with the fruits of hard work. Where some aspirations will finally come to pass, friendships will grow and new ones will be made.
This is just the beginning of a new chapter and a new adventure!