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Forty Is Not the New Thirty. Thankfully!

First, let me thank you for all of your sweet words and concern for my daughter. She is not back to one hundred percent health yet, but they felt she was healing enough to avoid putting her through too many tests that may or may not find answers when they see her on the upswing. She is still fatigued and suffers from headaches but we are keeping a close eye on her. Thank you for the kindness you showed me after my last post. It means a lot to me!

This Saturday, I turn forty. Forty years old. The big Four-Oh. As in, OH my goodness, you must be kidding me. Moms are forty. (And we all know moms are old!) People who say things like, “I remember when I used to go out and do that!” are forty. In fact, when I was younger, forty was so old I was amazed that my parents actually knew how to go out and have fun without having kids show them what fun really was all about. Forty was so over-the-hill. Forty marked the difference between us and them. It was huge!

Today? Oh, today forty means something entirely different.

I won’t tell you that forty is the new thirty because let’s face it, forty is still forty. However, now that I am the person turning forty, I have decided that it is the age where I will finally become the woman I always wanted to be. I know that is a huge declaration, but it is one that I feel right down to my bones (old as they may be getting).

Forty means:

I will no longer worry about the fact that my college experience was not like that of my friends. When they were up all night partying, I was up all night with a baby.

I will no longer wonder if I measure up as a mom. I have three amazing kids who may not have the most conventional mother, but they know they are loved, cared for, and have someone who will always have their back.

I will not stop looking back and wonder “what if…” because “what if” does not matter. I want to live with “what is” here and now.

I will live every day for the gift it is, rather than putting things off or just letting life happen to me. I realize I can (and should be) in the driver’s seat now.

I will go after the things that I want in life rather than hoping they come to me. I deserve to reach for the dreams I have now rather than wonder what would have happened if I reached for the dreams I had back then.

I will be more responsible in areas where life needs me to actually be the grown up, and will take things less seriously in areas where laughter is more appropriate than anxiety.

I will say "No" more often to things I just do not want to do (and will not feel guilty for it) and '"Yes" to the things that bring joy into my life.

I plan on taking forty and kissing it smack dab on the mouth.

Forty may not be the new thirty, but I am determined that it will be the new Jennifer.