I woke up this morning, 40 and irritated. I was not bothered to be 40, I was annoyed because I had one of those dreams where my husband was being inappropriate and belligerent. (No one who read my last post will be shocked by this. #10 speaks volumes.)
So of course I told him all about it and said he could make it up to me with a latte from Starbucks. And a pastry. And bacon.
I checked my phone to see a text from my sister.
"It is 40:-) !!! Here comes your first mammogram!"
Wow, this day is getting better by the minute.
While sipping my black coffee that is decidedly not a Starbucks' latte, I reflected on my life and the things I have learned about myself, others and the world in general. While sadly, I still have much to figure out, I have gained some valuable wisdom in my time that I will now share with you.
I sound like I should be wistfully stroking my white beard while smoking a corncob pipe, don't I?
So This is 40 - A list of things I now know from three solid decades of learning (mostly the hard way):
1. I enjoy being waited on.
For me, nothing is more of a killjoy than an 'order your food at the counter' establishment. I want someone to walk up to me while I'm comfortably seated and ask me what I want and need. And then this beautiful thing happens; they bring me what I ordered. That right there is the good stuff, folks.
2. My passion for country life, nature and horses is actually a necessity.
I found this out when my horses where gone for three years. I was left with a deep chasm in my soul- one I filled with shoes, scarves and handbags. I need grass, trees, chirping birds and horse slobber; those things all make me a better human.
3. My family means the world to me.
Yes, I realize I wrote about my horses first. Whoops.
This world means nothing without connection to others. My children, husband and extended family are all shining stars in my life. Our relationships may not be perfect, but they are braided tightly from time, shared experiences and love. I wouldn't trade my people for the world. Not even for an obscenely large sum of money.
4. My close friends are like family.
It's all about the people; it's all about the love. My friends are the bee's knees. They support me, they protect me, they listen to me, they care about me, and those things are reciprocated. They enrich my life in immeasurable ways. Find those people and keep them close.
5. Wrinkles. So what?
I have them. I like some of them... and others, not so much. In fact, I have gained a variety of things from aging: kids, a husband, a house, successes, failures, a great career, wisdom, life experience and a killer cowboy boot collection. A bit of lined skin doesn't scare me- as Edie Brickell said, "Wear with pride the scars on your skin. They're a map of things you've done and places you've been." She forgot to mention how kids cause wrinkles, but other than that, I like her take on skin marks. I'm kind of proud of my path and therefore, I embrace my wrinkles (except for the really deep ones under my eyes- those could go away.)
6. Living comfortably outside of my comfort zone.
This is a big one and took me years to figure out - in fact, I'm still working on it. But it has been a game changer and I like the direction it's taken me.
7. It is easier to truly see people.
Nothing is more humbling than aging while being a parent. You are challenged- sometimes daily- past your breaking point and pushed beyond reasonable physical and mental limitations. Yet you love those little people beyond measure. You accept them. Then you realize that every person on this planet was once one of them and that their experiences -good and bad- formed them. Then you feel a bit more forgiveness, acceptance and kindness toward people in general. And you embrace them, flaws and all. And you also realize that some of them are so broken that in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, you can't allow them inside your circle, and that's okay too.
8. I know my tastes, style and preferences.
9. Being surrounded by a life I created.
We manifest everything, every experience and everyone around us. It's pretty cool, and also a little scary, if you think about it. So plant those flowers, paint that fence, read that book, engage in that conversation, write that story and spend that time. We're driving the car- let's steer it somewhere amazing.
Isn't love the best? Sure, it's frightening and uncertain, but what isn't? I think that there's no better risk than love. If you don't remove your armour you'll never feel the true agony and delight of love. It's probably like never drinking caffeine, which is sad.
Feel free to celebrate my birthday with me today. Hell, I'll be celebrating for a least two weeks, so join in the fun. There will be cake, wine and laughter.
So, pretty much the same as every other day.
Bring it, 40.
Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Peace, Love and Unicorns,
P.S. I did eventually get my latte and a blueberry muffin. I'm still waiting on the bacon...