My 40th birthday is in a couple of days, and before I remind you to respect your elders, I have got some news to share.
I am going to rock 4-0!
I am not totally sure when I decided that I am going to embrace the forties.
Maybe it was when I found a long hair under my chin, or maybe it was when my oldest son could out lift me or maybe it was when I had to wax my mustache.
My twenties were a blur of married life, motherhood, newly owners of a ranch, and a college degree. I also vaguely remember life as busy and no-stop.
I was consumed with ranch life and trying to get ahead. I was consumed in making sure that I had it all together. I worried about knowing the right people, making flawless impressions and setting up my future for myself and our family. It was a whirlwind decade of fun, of successes, of heartache and frequently crippling uncertainties best summed up by the questions, “Are we doing this right?” Should we have more kids? From getting pregnant to losing that baby, to tough ranching decisions to losing my mom. The twenties were interesting.
Then, the thirties hit. Oh, I will never forget my thirtieth birthday. I didn’t want that birthday at all. I struggled with my own self. But God had plans for me and we went from a family of four to a family of six. All the fear and doubt and indictable joy….it’s amazing I’m still alive. The thirties seem to hit all the BIG Stuff and cancer took our Papa. The thirties also brought great opportunities and adventures. Decisions loomed at every turn. Am I going to keep this extra skin flap around my belly, forever? How am I ever going to keep up? Thirties are not for the faint of heart.
And then, like the moment I realize I’m alone in the car and can switch the radio from Kidz Bop to 80’s country, it hit me like a ton of hay bales falling off the rafters.
I’m at peace with me.
I feel good about myself, friends! I can turn up the 80’s country and dance if I want to. I can have a glass of wine or two, whenever I would like. I can cry when special moments happen, like when our oldest son does an interview with a New York parent firm. (You can read it here.) While it is a shame that my face skin seems loose all of sudden, getting older means I like me. And guess what, I can buy products to tighten up my face skin. I’ve seen the products ads before and was skeptical, but it’s not a myth! Turning 40 is going to rock, and I am about to own this decade. Why?
I am learning to not let what people think of me get in the way of my life.
I mean, it is true. I am letting those go that don’t like me.
You may say, What?
Well it is true and it’s okay. I am a lifelong people pleaser. I will always care about being nice and helping everyone I can, but it has changed into something far more healthy in the past year. I don’t worry so much about what impression I just made with new people that I have met. I don’t say yes when I really meant no. Life experience means that I am confident in who I’ve become. I have learned that if I am at peace with God, my husband and our children, I AM GOOD.
If you don’t agree with me that is absolutely okay with me. The superfluous “someone” actually doesn’t really matter. I mean, who knew?
I actually have surprised myself with learning to be more confident. I have learned to embrace my personality. I used to pretend to be more reserved and maybe even a little quieter. I have spent years trying to “fit in”. I have spent years holding things in, in fear of saying the wrong thing. Get the gist? I have began to do the opposite because you know, 40 is awesome, even if some things you do embarrass your kids.
The bottom line? I am ready to own it, y’all. I am proud of the cowgirl I am, scars and all. I still have no idea what direction I am going half the time. I am pretty sure that the kids think that I am losing my mind, but doesn’t age equal wisdom?
I forgive myself and move on when I don’t get it right the first time. I recognize my good intentions and my unending love for my family and friends. I am moving on when things don’t go the way that I think they should. I am embracing the body that God gave me. I know that I am far from perfect, yet I want to do the best that I can. I am not worried about the people that judge me. I freely admit that I love the 80’s music. I am not embarrassed to tell you that I don’t have a clean house and that my sink is full of dirty dishes and that I can not tell you the last time that I cleaned the toilets. If you are being a jerk, I may tell you about it. Seriously, this decade is going to be my best!
Where are my fellow 40’s friends? Tell me your favorite thing about being in your 40s!