Yesterday I turned 40 years old. Wow. 40. It's but a number but is fraught with meaning - the entering of middle age, the loss of youth, the settling for how things are. Well, traditionally that is. Around these parts? It's the start of a whole new ball game.
Gray hair? No worries, I've been dealing with that since I was 20. Crows feet and laugh lines? They don't mean a thing as I earned them laughing like crazy with my family. Developing the Nachman chin? That's a point of pride - my grandmother was an incredible woman. I was never a beauty so the trappings mean very little. Hot flashes? Meh, I've always run cold so I look at this as a perk. Middle age? Bring it.
What I do have now is perspective - what's truly important. Doing my best at my job. It may not be what I wanted to do 20 years ago but now I'm here and I'll make the best of it. I can still leave my mark by developing a training program that will last for years; it might not be changing the world but it will be improving the bit that I occupy.
I'll make more time for me and doing the things that nurture my soul: cooking, writing, and exercising. Not too look better but to do my part to make sure I'm around for my kids and their kids for a long, long time. (Though if my clothes fit better in the process, well, I guess I'll just have to live with that.)
Dyl and I are both 40 now and as the kids get older, we can do more things with just us to remind us why we fell in love in the first place. It's so easy to lose track of that in the throes of early childhood and career management.
It's the freedom to move on from the crazy uncertainty of youth, to being comfortable with who I am and where I'm going, as an individual as well and as a wife and mother. Let the youngsters duke it out for the notice and accolades; I like where I am and I'm good at what I do.
This is 40. And from where I sit, it looks damn good.