Last week, I turned 40. I'm not one of those people who spends a lot of time dwelling on my age, but something about 40 in particular makes you stop and take stock of your life. Am I who I wanted to be? Am I where I hoped to be? Because all of a sudden, it's abundantly clear that there's no going back.
I know there are plenty of people still molding their lives at 40, but there is also so much water under the bridge. I have few regrets and those I do have, I've managed to set aside for the most part. There's too much to do to be worried about those things I can't change.
I've had my share of tragedy, of marriage counseling, of uncertainty. I can't say that there haven't been hysterical tears, pain (both physical and mental), screaming and yelling or that the 'D' word was never thrown around in my house...but I can say that was a long time ago and things were so very difficult and different then. These things pass. So many things pass...
When my husband asked if I wanted to have a party for the big birthday, I said 'yes' and provided him with a short list of some of my oldest and dearest friends. Most of them, I went to high school with. Some, I went to elementary school with. One, I went to preschool with.
I was glad that it was scheduled after my actual birthday. I admit I dreaded the day itself. But it was just another day. Another day of school, speech therapy, basketball practice and a not-so-celebratory dinner at Chili's. And once it was over, it was just that. Another day.
But as the party approached, I wasn't so sure I'd made the right choice. Now I'm 40. Why celebrate that?I bought myself a new dress...the first really nice dress I've bought in many years...and new shoes. I was overdressed, but I figured it was my birthday, so why not? And, it turned out, a party was the perfect thing for me to do for my birthday. Many things may have passed me by the in last 40 years, but the best of friends are always there. And it was so nice to see them all...all except the one who had a baby the previous day...and know we were hosting them for dinner.Honestly, I don't love being photographed with these girls that much. Talk about a bunch who are aging well!
The food was good, the cake was awesome and the party was fun. It lasted much longer than anticipated...which I took as a good sign.
In the end, most of what I learned from turning 40 was that I may not be enamored of all the paths I took to get where I am, but it's good to be here. My parents may have given me life, but there's only so much they could do beyond raising me to the best of their abilities. I made a few mistakes as soon as I was out of their grasp. The rest, I owe to one person to whom I'm forever grateful.Thank you, husband. I could not have asked for more.