Today is my 40th birthday and I’m celebrating the hell out of it! I grew up with the idea that being 40 meant you were old which meant you were grown up, had things figured out, and that life was all paying bills and adulting hard-core. I woke up this morning with a very different perspective on the big 4-0.
I will probably never feel grown up. I still shriek when I see a cute dog and my sisters and I act foolishly when we get together. I still need my mom’s advice. Being “grown up” doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! I had a blast dancing with my gal pal on St. Patrick’s Day and I actively seek out opportunities to get silly and laugh.
I believe that growing older is a privilege denied to many and while I don’t dwell on the loss of those who died young, I am thinking of a friend from my university days who died about 10 years ago. He will never know the joy of developing wrinkles from laughing so often or of finally feeling comfortable with himself as an adult. I will live for myself, but remember that there are many wish they had the chance to turn 40 and 50 and 60.
Just like the number on the scale doesn’t define me (I weigh one hundred and sexy, by the way, right Tara?) age is just another number and 40 will not define me. I’m dedicated to my fitness and healthier eating and I think I’m doing pretty awesome. I was rocking it out as the oldest person in my splits class last night and I’ll kick it in a new age category when I run a 5k tomorrow. My age doesn’t limit me and it never should. Anyone can choose to do anything at any stage of life. It’s all about choices and decision-making. I am choosing to the live the kind of life I want to live.
My husband was a bit nervous about this birthday as he’s mentioned witnessing some women experience a crisis heading into 40. Crisis my ass! I’m embracing it as an awakening to a chapter of my life where I become a better version of myself. The self I only dreamed of having the courage to become in my younger days! I am learning to love every inch of my changing body. I am setting goals and working my ass off to reach them. I am inspiring others to fear less and am motivated by others everyday. I’m putting positive energy out into the world and receiving love in return.
My kids will see their mom take time for herself and they’ll learn self-respect as a result. My friends will find a (loud) cheerleader in me, and my husband will find me confident and certain in myself. Forty is going to be an amazing year!