When I was little, I remember thinking 40 sounded so old. I pictured gray hair, wide hips, granny dresses and being out of touch with the world. All the people I knew who were 40 seemed so dated.
Today I turned 40. I look in the mirror and still see the 20 year old in my reflection. The gray is there–hidden quite well thanks to Veda Salon. Running has kept the wide hips at bay for now. Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post and NPR keep the world in reasonable integration with my life.
As we were driving down to Coquette’s for a family birthday lunch, we talked about this next decade. In the next ten years, I’ll have two children reach adulthood. We’ll have one 16 year old in the house. As Caroline reminded us, she could be married AND have a child before I hit 50.
It’s fun to think about the next decade. What do I want to achieve? I have small goals–40 miles/week for the year. I’ve thought about throwing out the idea of doing a 40 miler this year. I’ve wondered if this is the year I actually start writing more–intentionally speaking the words that roll around my brain each night.
I don’t want to discount the 40 years that brought me to this point. Today my older sister, Shelly and my husband, Matthew, each wrote 40 things about me. It was startling to see how many things they had written in common (they live hundreds of miles apart). It was good to see my life written from their angles–that my intentions have turned into habits.
These past 40 years have been filled with so much living. I’ve been born, grew up, got married, had three babies, lived in countless countries and states, begun jobs, ended jobs and restarted new jobs. I’ve grown into myself. I am self confident and secure–I know my place and I like my place. I ask a lot more questions and speak a whole lot less. I’ve learned the value of reading the lives of those who’ve walked before me.
So 40, I’m ready for you. I’m ready to tackle these middle years with the same vengeance I took on my 30s.
It’s fall in Colorado.
It’s amazing when it’s fall in Colorado.
It’s the busiest month for our family. Birthday 1
This one is turning 14 soon. How?
I’ve had a renewed zest to feed my family real food.
These fritters. I’m telling you. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
These slippers. LLBean is the bomb. Quite literally my favorite winter slippers EVER. Under $40. Go get them. I promise you, your feet will thank you all winter long!
There’s been a lot of hiking this fall. Especially with this pretty amazing almost 14 year old.
Canning. Applesauce, Peach sauce, salsa, tomatoes. Jars and jars of fresh, local produce.
Running. I’ve been out on the trail. My summer began with taking a selfie with each run I did outside. I’m telling you people, it’s motivating to see how your pictures add up–and the beauty of this state. I can’t get enough of our mountains!
Life is good. It’s hard. It’s full and it’s rich. I’m blessed!
I leave you with this quote. I have a big birthday in just a few days. Entering my “Middle Years” I’m calling them.
Aside from getting much needed rest and checking off the “to do” list, it affords a different pace. With that change in pace, oftentimes for me, comes perspective.
I was getting sucked into the lie that said, “You must just do one more thing.” For me, that lie spread across work, home, housework, laundry, and parenting.
I was literally “just one more thinging” myself to death.
Self discovery one: I can’t do it all. Just one more thing really isn’t just one more thing. The list will never end. There will always be one more thing to do. In Elsa’s famous words, “Let it frickin go!”
Self discovery two: Turn it off. Yep, technology that is. When the work day is done, turn it off and leave it off. That includes removing work email from my cell phone. I had no idea how liberating it was to not look at the little box pop up on my screen.
Self discovery three: I have to run. In the morning. When I wait until the afternoon to work out, it’s a crapshoot.
Self discovery four: Just say thanks. There are a thousand things I notice are out of place, I want, I need and I don’t have. Rather than focusing on those things constantly, I have taken to remembering a little ditty from my childhood. (Thank you Psalty the Singing Songbook!) “Just be thankful for the good things that you got. For the good things that you got are for many just a dream. Just be thankful for the good things that you got.”
These are not earth shattering discoveries. Heck, I’ve made these before in a past season of life. YET apparently I didn’t learn my lesson.
I am aware, every.single.day. how fleeting this life is. I recently heard someone say (Bill Hybels I think) that the grass in my front yard will outlive me. Reality check.
So there you go…musings this late August day at a local Starbucks.
Running looks different today than in past seasons of my life. I used to race. I used to have big goals. I checked many of those things off my list. I did them.
I put one foot in front of the other. My pace is slower. My legs feel heavier but the trail is so forgiving.
For my own encouragement to keep going, I take a running selfie in the middle of each of my outdoor runs. I looked through my camera roll a few days ago. I really do live in one of the most beautiful places.
This season has been long but the days are so very short. I’ll keep putting one step in front of the other on these trails. Because I’m worth it.