Forty – that birthday everyone likes to remind you is coming. The birthday where you are expected to celebrate hugely. It’s the birthday where people like to say “oh she looks good for her age.” WTF! That expression has always bothered me. Well today marks forty years of having the opportunity to walk on this beautiful earth. As I sit and reflect what forty means to me, here is what I come up with.
At forty I may have a fine line (or two) but I wouldn’t trade them for my twenty something wrinkle free skin. I have aches and pains from arthritis and Fibromyalgia but I would not trade them for a painless body because they remind me I am alive and able. I have stretched skin on my abdomen but I don’t want my pre-baby skin back because God has blessed me with two beautiful daughters. At forty I am gluten and lactose free and eat super clean. I wouldn’t dare go back to the late night fast food in my twenties. At forty I go to bed at 9:30 and awake at 5:30 because I am so grateful for another day and can’t wait to start the day on purpose. At forty I start each day with this prayer “Lord, above all accomplishments I may have today, above every penny I will earn, help me to walk in love. When I become impatient, remind me to walk in love”.
At forty I am secure in myself and confident in my abilities but I still have doubts and fears. I still get tired and feed my kids chicken nuggets for dinner because I don’t want to cook. I still have days that I don’t feel like working out. I still find myself judging (though way less often). I still push myself hard and expect more of myself than anyone else does. I still get my feelings hurt too easily. Forty is not some magical number where once we reach it, we have “arrived”. We are always evolving and every day is an opportunity to grow, regardless of age.
Today I will celebrate being forty but most of all I will celebrate another day on this earth and the opportunity to live with purpose.