Monday, March 2, 2015

Reflections On My 40th Year

Well, I turn 41 tomorrow. I find myself looking back over this past year and thinking about the whole turning-40 thing. What have I learned? What wisdom do I have about this milestone age? Uhhh, not much?

Confession? I started making a list a year ago. A list of "40 Things To Do In My 40th Year." I didn't ever finish the list, nor did I work on completing the things on that list. So maybe what I've learned is that a lot of things are the same as we age.

1. Like how I am constantly making lists.
2. And how I sometimes don't finish them.
3. And how whether or not I finish making them, I don't always look at them.
4. Or do what's on them.
5. How at 40, I find that one of the most challenging things for me is to keep up on life in general!
6. I feel behind a lot.
7. I make a lot of efforts and attempts to stay on top of things,
8. But there are always so many things that I don't get to.
9. Home repairs, car maintenance, check-ups, activities, goals.
10. I try. I really do.
11. I heard that it's not healthy to think things like, "There aren't enough hours in the day!"
12. But I admit that I often feel that way anyway.
13. I work hard every day to take care of home and family, keep up on school, business stuff, relationships.
14. Inevitably, I don't get to it all or do all I'd like to do.
15. My vision seems to always be bigger than my ability to make it so.
16. I suppose that's a good thing,
17. Always striving, always pursuing.
18. But there's something to be said for being content, too.
19. And that, I really am.
20. And isn't that what counts?
21. I see Facebook pictures of friends who travel all over the world and I'm happy for them,
22. But I don't sit here and wish it were me.
23. I don't.
24. I like my life, my simple pleasures.
25. Nothing makes me happier than spending a day at home with my family playing games, watching funny TV, and eating good food.
26. That's what counts in my book.
27. I don't have a grand working career.
28. I am not some big shot in a fancy field.
29. I haven't won any grand awards.
30. I try to be careful how we spend, conscious of our student loan and other debts (my parents were debt free by 40 - uh, yeah, that was clearly a different era).
31. I worry and fret and feel restless sometimes.
32. Nearly constantly, I think about and hope we are doing right by our kids with our life choices.
33. But if there's one constant in my life,
34. It is how much I love them.
35. My husband is, without a doubt, my best friend.
36. There is truly no one else with whom I'd rather be and I feel incredibly lucky that we have each other.
37. I've got a daughter who sometimes feels like a sister to me and always is my friend.
38. I have a son whose love for me is more than he can express, though he tries with hugs and words and gestures all the time.
39. I have the world's cutest, spunkiest, cuddliest, most adorable, most loving dog a family could possibly ask for.
40. So this 40 thing? Not too shabby.

There. I finished a list. And I feel pretty good about all that is on it - faults, flaws, and joys. It's the whole not-perfect, but perfect-for-me 40 package.


Dr. Mark said...

It takes real courage to be so open and honest. I know it hasn't been the easiest year for you for a whole variety of reasons. Thanks for being my best friend. I especially liked this subset in your list:

15. My vision seems to always be bigger than my ability to make it so.
16. I suppose that's a good thing,
17. Always striving, always pursuing.
18. But there's something to be said for being content, too.
19. And that, I really am.

Your vision is a lot of what helps our family reach higher, even if we don't quite make it all the way to where we are aiming. We usually come pretty damn close, though. Thank you.

I love you!

Jimmy said...

I like the part about constant worry about your kids. And the part about being content. And the part about your children's love for you.

Happy birthday. You've used the time well!

Boquinha said...

Thank you to both of you. :)

Emily Foley said...

I was telling my sister yesterday that I'm having a hard time with 35, and she said that she hated her thirties and is really looking forward to her 40s. I'm trying to join that bandwagon.

There are always so many things we could be doing, but I am pretty sure you're not going to regret staying in and hanging with your family. The time with your kids, I'm coming to find, is so short before they move on and become their own people. Not that they won't still come visit and be part of your family, but it changes. I'm witnessing it in my siblings families and it's making me feel a little panicky. I want my kids to grow up and move on, because that's what life's about, but man I want to enjoy them while I can. Especially at the ages they are now, because they're so cool and fun.

I hope 41 is exactly what you want it to be.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, Emily. I agree. It goes by way too fast and I'm in no hurry.

40s are awesome. I've heard people say that when you get to 40, you just don't put up with any BS anymore. I tried to make myself start that earlier than 40, but it does get easier with age, I'm noticing!