As (my) world turns. Another trip around the sun.
Happy birthday to me! Happy middle age. Augh. I’m not sure how I feel about the “middle”. Perhaps because it feels that much closer to opposite end of where I began? Obviously, it’s all relative and illogical anyway. Who knows when the true middle is? My middle could have already passed. Or maybe it’s still yet to come.
Do you ever stop to think about your birthday? I mean, more than just “oh it’s my birthday.” I feel like there are two types of people: 1: people who operate like it’s just another day, or 2: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
I’m in the second category. I LOVE my birthday. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s a nice mid-way point from Christmas? Maybe because it’s near July 4th and people are already in party mode? As a kid I always secretly believed the fireworks were just for me. Obviously, I don’t know how I would feel if my birthday was in another time of year.
This year is a BIG one for me – 40. I always thought it wouldn’t really be a big deal to turn 40. Age is just a number! Sure. Until I’m turning 40.
I don’t think it’s so much about feeling old. I feel about the same as I have over the past couple of years. Nothing has suddenly changed. But, it feels… different. Like a shift in time. Or a shift in mindset.
By 40 I feel like there are no excuses. This is life. You’re living it. You have experiences. You’re not too young for stuff (like renting a car or signing a lease). You’re also not too old (AARP hasn’t called just yet). But, at this point, either you have it together or you don’t.
Does anyone ever truly has it all together?? I think our world is clouded with the picture perfect images we all want the world to see. Not that anything is wrong with that, per se. I surely don’t like the world to see everything chaotic in my life.
But I’m beginning to understand the mid-life crisis. It’s a turning point of reflection. Where you are seriously wondering if this is it. When you realize that you’ve been kicking around this “life” thing for a while and you are nowhere near where you want to be. When you decide that going through the motions seems fairly unproductive and silly and you want more meaning behind what you do.
I have a list of 100 Things I’d like to do. Call it a bucket list, wish list, goals, whatever word resonates with you. There are little things on my list (like spend more time with my dogs) to bigger ideas (like be incremental in passing legislation). When I wrote it, I really took time to contemplate the “things” in life that mattered to me. I didn’t judge or filter my thoughts. I just simply wrote things I wanted.
Who knows if I will get to do even half the things on my list. I can’t say I have a plan of action to knock off all these items. I think it’s okay to not be so programmed in getting them done. But, every once in a while, I look at the list, and it reminds me that I’m alive. I’m more than my job, more than a mom, more than a wife. I’m alive, on a journey all of my own. Having experiences.
The thing with 40 is that time already feels like it’s flying by. Years seems to go faster and faster. When I look at my list of 100 Things, the key is that I FEEL GOOD while doing them. I don’t want to waste time feeling crappy.
Feeling good is HARD work. I know I don’t feel like I did in my 20s. I can’t imagine what I will feel like in my 60s. But right now, in this moment, I want to feel awesome. Feeling good is not something I want to achieve one day. I want to be it every day.
Turning 40 makes me realize that I’ve been fortunate enough to live this many days already. None of us know how many more days we get. What I do know is that I want to feel good for as many of them as I possibility can. There is no waiting around till next year, next month, next week. Just chose be feel good in every moment as they happen.
Do things that make you happy. Do things that make your body feel good. Give it good fuel. Give it good rest. Have fun. Exercise (after you do this enough, you realize that it actually does feel good!). Breathe.
I’m not really ready to “tackle” the next 40. I’m ready to live them in the present moment. I’m ready to learn how to just “be.” Seems hard to believe it’s taken me 40 years in this body to just begin that journey. All in due time, I suppose.
As my 39th trip around the sun concludes this weekend, I open a new chapter of life. Learning more about who I am, and learning to enjoy the present moment. As we all know, the present is all we truly have. No better day to do it than on a day I already love.