Let me preface this by saying that that prior to turning 40, I was never the type to experience any angst about my age. My 20’s were great. Turning 30 was no big deal, because I was so busy- married for 5 years and pregnant with my third child.
But the Big 4-0… well, that was a different story…
The prospect of turning 40 was not ok with me. 40 is OLD. 40 is sore muscles, mom jeans, sensible haircuts, and holding things further away from you as you attempt to read them. No. NOOOOO.
The problem is, the chronological number didn’t gel with my internal age. You know. About… 23, maybe?
I suppose it was a typical mid-life crisis moment, but as the day of reckoning approached, I began to take stock of my life. How did my twenties fly by so fast?
I remember watching Friends waaaay back in 1994, marveling at how cool and adult they were. Apartments, jobs, relationships, lounging in NYC coffee shops… it was so glamorous and grown up. Cool, yet completely alien to me. I couldn’t imagine being old and, you know, responsible.
And then my twenties flew by…
And where’d my thirties go???
Do you remember the show Thirtysomething, circa 1987 (why I was even watching the show at age 12 is beyond me…) ? I remember liking it, despite the fact that I couldn’t even FATHOM being that old, EVER. Mortgages… whaaa? Marital tension? Balancing work and home life and kids and adult friends…. it was pure fantasy to me.
And then my thirties flew by…
(And neither decade resembled the aforementioned shows; I can tell you that. Well, except the copious amounts of coffee consumption, but that fine tradition continues today.)
It’s a cliche, but time really DOES fly by. And it made me sad for a bit, realizing how fast it’s all gone by. I began to feel like I’d lost myself in the midst of being married, and building a home and a family. I had invested so much of that period of life into my family that I wondered: did I live MY life, or was I merely living it for everyone else?
You know. All that mid-life crisis angst that comes with turning 40…
And yes, I spent a few hours bemoaning my lost youth, and mourning the things I’d never done, and might never do.
My birthday celebration comprised of a fantastically fun pre-birthday dinner out with friends and family at my favorite restaurant, followed by a backyard BBQ on my actual birthday with even more family and friends. I was surrounded by people that love me so much, and were so happy to celebrate this milestone birthday with me.
And that’s when I realized what’s made my forty years so rich-
LOVE. FAMILY. FRIENDS.
I had the good fortune to spend my younger years being raised in an amazing family, and I’ve been privileged to spend my adult years raising an amazing family of my own. There are certain things I haven’t done, some I’ve yet to do, and some I may never do. But instead of being hung up about those things, I realized that I’ve been given:
40 years of being a daughter to two of the most loving & dedicated parents
38 years of being a big sister to the wackiest, funniest brother & sister on the planet
35 years of treasured friendship with my best friends
18 years of letting God lead the way, while meeting more of my best friends
15 years of being married to the love of my life
13 years of being a mom to six hysterical kids, beautiful inside and out.
While the idea of being 40 still feels… odd to me, I’m no longer hung up on the number. Because that number represents a good deal of quality living. And while I still feel like my maturity level is that of the average 23 year old- that will likely not change- I’m thankful that I’ve enjoyed so much so far. I’m literally surrounded with people that love me and want to be loved by me, and for that, I am blessed beyond imagine. While I can’t always preserve the physical realm (though that’d be swell, huh??), I know that loving the people in my life to best of my ability is my true legacy.
And THAT is 40.
© Copyright 2015 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom