For years I’ve wanted to be better. It was even a redundant New Year’s resolution. No specific goal, just “better”. Because you can’t quantify “better”, it defies the resolution failure rate.
As I look back at the “better” that seemed to always be just out of reach. It was something I couldn’t quite grasp. Now that I’m Forty, I am who I’m gonna be. Honestly, at this point, I’m really too tired to remake myself.
Sure I can improve, but if my jeans fit, why would I try to fit into a size 12.
Several of my favorite authors turned 40 with pizzazz. They leaped into the decade like queens who knew how to conquer the world. Confident in who they were becoming. Traveling to far away places and celebrating like rock stars.
My 40th birthday was a small and intimate affair. Without Facebook’s prompting, the day would have gone unnoticed. It was exactly as I wanted – my family and close friends around a table. I embraced the day (and decade) unsure but utterly confident that it was okay to not know the future.
I have been Forty for a couple months now and I think I finally get it. I understand what all the fuss is about being 40. There is a confidence in who I am that can not be explained easily but here’s what I know so far:
- I have been this person for 20 years. Which means that I still think and feel like I did at 20, I’m just a little wiser and stronger now. I have survived heartache and learned from it. Things that would have crushed me when I was a 20-something aren’t daunting to me anymore.
- Excluding the couple of years when I was growing babies, I have been roughly this same size. Especially my shoes size. (Thank the Lord my 10’s haven’t gotten any bigger.)
- My hair has fluctuated from long to short and blonde to brown. It takes about three years to grow out and about $10 to change the shade (or cover the gray).
- I have a flair for the dramatic and so does my beautiful daughter. I like adjectives, sarcasm and cuss words, and use them regularly and expertly.
- I can no longer wear cute strappy shoes or perform aerial wonders on the trampoline… unless I have time to visit the chiropractor. But if I do have a day of rare bladder control, I can still back and front flip with my kids. I just have to give my kids a turn while the world stops spinning.
Basically, I have reached the best version of me so far (specifically because of the back-flips and bladder control). And it’s thrilling to know that I can stop trying so hard to be someone that I’m not.
I’m sure I’ll keep trying to invent myself… to lose 20 pounds in 20 days… to find the perfect mascara… But my goodness, sitting on the other side of Forty, looking forward to big kids and the freedom that comes along with them is pretty exciting
….Even if the jeans are a size 14.
“I’m excited about turning 40. I’ve been an adult for a long time, but there is a difference between being an adult and being a grown-up… I feel as if I’m about to hit my peak.” ~Jill Scott