I always felt lucky having my birthday on March 16th. As if, somehow, being born so close to St. Patrick’s Day automatically attached a bit of luck to my life.
I’m forty today, and I’m not sure if it’s luck, exactly, but I feel extreme gratitude for this life.
The view from forty isn’t anything like I’d imagined it would be. It’s so much more.
When you’re 20, 25, even into your 30s, you live like forty isn’t coming. You rarely give it a thought, and when you do, you think of it like when you get there, your best years will have passed you by.
Oh, darling, you were wrong.
Forty is understanding, really understanding, that this life is mine for the taking. What do you want? Go and get it.
Forty is knowing that it’s never too late.
Forty is knowing that I have a purpose in my life that I’m fufilling everyday. It’s not just in chasing my big dreams, but in the small moments, too.
It’s in the conversations I have with my six year old in the car and answering question after question. It’s when I’m laying in bed with my nine year old and she whispers her fears to me and squeezes my reassuring hand.
Forty is knowing that there are a lot of different ways to be good mother, but no right way.
Forty is also knowing that mom guilt is always going to be there, no matter what path you choose.
From forty I can see that the grass most definitely is not greener over on the other side. Whether I’m a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, or trying to be both, all moms feel like they should be doing more.
At forty, I know that relationships and experiences are what this life is about, not material things.
I hold tight to my husband and know that the happy marriage we have is the result of conscious choices we’ve both made to nurture it. It’s not something that just happens.
At forty I have learned to treasure the friendships I have and can let go of petty, toxic, and negative people. That was a lot harder to do, even at 35.
Forty is having more confidence than I’ve ever had. Confidence in my mind, in my abilities, and my decisions.
That confidence comes from mistakes made and being totally okay using two powerful phrases:
I made a mistake.
Finally at forty I’m comfortable in my own skin. I embrace my body’s flaws and know that my body is perfect because of its flaws. What would a body be without flaws? Perfection in any other sense of the word is a myth.
You see, forty is wisdom. I can shake my head at my former self knowing the things I know today. Yet, when I’m sixty, I’m sure I’ll say: Oh, what I didn’t know.
I understand this to be true, because at forty, I can see that life is about continued growth. I haven’t reached my potential yet, but how boring would that be if I had?
I’m excited to be 40. The last decade was tremendous and life just keeps getting better. Here’s to the view from 40! I like what I’m seeing.