One morning last year I woke up to the sound of my alarm in my sun-filled teal blue bedroom and turned 40, which according to statistics is the half-way mark.
I stayed in bed a few minutes longer than usual going through the years in my mind: the realized dreams, the memorable moments, the painful lessons, the questionable choices, all of which (good, bad or ugly) led to this day. And I had no regrets.
In the twelve months leading up to my 40th I had this fear I would wake up feeling and looking old, neither of which happened. Instead, I felt and looked better than I did in my 20s; I was healthy and fit, I was of clear mind and heart, I had a lightness of spirit, and a sense of renewed purpose. I welcomed my 40th with deep gratitude, child-like excitement and an awareness of my mortality. I say the last part not in a morbid way, but to acknowledge the brevity of life and accept it for what it is, a most precious gift. And I intend to cherish and honor that gift for as long as I have it!
That morning I eventually got out of bed and kissed my kids, reminding them just how much I loved them. I also called my parents and texted friends/relatives reminding them of the same. I had to go in the office but it was like no ordinary work-day, it felt more like a holiday. I glided through the rest of that week in a haze of delight, laughter and ultimately alcohol :).
When the weekend arrived I put on a red freakum dress and a pair of 4 inch heels I had bought specially for this occasion (though there would be no freakum that night) and met six of my closest girlfriends at a conspicuous downtown restaurant for a pricey but delectable dinner. We ended the night in a very warm and turbulent sea of drunk twenty-somethings, dancing to music of our youth.
But oh! the celebration did not end there, a few days later I hopped on a plane and took the 11 hour flight to magical Hawaii, where I met up with one of my best friends (who was at the birthday dinner, wearing her own freakum dress) for what would be the most relaxing, meditative, detoxifying and rejuvenating three days for both of us.
And on my last morning in Hawaii, sitting on the beach, surrounded by the beauty of the sunrise and the sound of the ocean, I ended my two week milestone birthday celebration with this journal entry:
“Looking back on my life I am so grateful and humbled to have had the fortune of knowing – always knowing – that I was enough. That I had everything I needed to thrive. Sometimes I had to dig deep within and at times it came in an unexpected, even unappealing package, but what I needed was there. Looking back on my life I can say that I have, up until this point, lived earnestly, unabashedly, with no reservation. So here is to another 40 years of intentional but enjoyable living, and more dancing to the beat of my own God-giving drum!