Thoughts on Turning Forty
So this is 40. Over the past few years I’ve transitioned from being “Miss” and I am now squarely in “Ma’am” territory. I’m not just an a adult, I am a middle-aged adult (cringe). I have worked for the same company for 10 years, have a mortgage and a good credit score. I have been married for over a third of my life. I wear sensible shoes. Increasingly I’m the adultier adult that other adults turn to for advice when making adult decisions.
How the heck did this happen?
I was excited about the prospect of turning thirty.I was a bit too frugal and pragmatic to really enjoy my twenties but my thirties brought disposal income (thanks to a good career in physical therapy) and the financial freedom that affords as well as a better sense of who I was and what I liked. Truthfully I loved my thirties,the past decade held a lot of highs and a handful of lows. I’ve made some great new friends and the bonds of old friendships grew stronger. The love between my husband and I is more deeply satisfying with each passing year. I’ve traveled more in my thirties than the previous three decades combined. I’ve trekked through the Costa Rican rainforest and sipped sangria in Spain. I’ve hiked to the top of a glacier in Iceland and dove in the reefs off the coast of Belize. I’ve ridden a hot air balloon over the Sonoran Desert and swum beneath a waterfall in the Andean cloud forest in Ecuador. Oh, and I also started this blog.
The passing of my Mom three years ago hit my like a freight train and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Four years with early onset Alzheimer’s took the sweetest, most genuinely loving person in my life far too early. I also learned the unspoken truth of anyone making end of life decisions for someone they love-you will second guess those decisions for the rest of your life. The grief of losing my Mom enveloped me and over the following two years the layers of the grief slowly lifted.It was a long,hard climb out and something I couldn’t fully appreciate until I was on the other side.
Forty, well I’ve had some sleepless nights over the prospect of forty. Perhaps it’s the realization that I’m much closer to fifty than I am to twenty. It’s the line between by brows from years of making what I like to call my “concentration face” when I read (a trait I can thank my German heritage for).The eating and exercise habits that worked great at thirty aren’t quite as effective now (despite what my Instagram feed says it’s kale smoothies, grilled chicken salads and the like 85% of the time), and my cloths are just a bit tighter than they were a few years ago. It’s the fact I had always assumed I would have children by this point in my life and the window for that is closing in fast. Largely it’s the fact that there is no going back.
My thirties were a great run and I think my trepidation of this new decade stems from how much I enjoy my life right now. Whatever this next chapter of my life holds I will meet it with love, happiness and a sense of adventure.