Mj is a recovering bookseller. A wife. A SAHMama. A reader, a pretend runner, a wanna-be gourmet chef, famous writer, and stand up comedian. She’s Catwoman in disguise. Be sure to read her blog 154 Hidden Court.
Yesterday was my 40th birthday.
I really thought I’d have stuff figured out by now.
When I was a kid, 40 seemed so old. Middle aged. The age of spinster school teachers and doctors.
When I was a teenager, 40 seemed like the age where you forgot how to have fun. Forty was filled with serious, driven adults who never laughed and who worked a lot.
When I was 20, 40 was my whole lifetime away.
When I was 30, 40 seemed like an age where I would have my life put together. I felt like I was setting up the foundation and putting myself on the right track to have everything in place and just where I wanted it to be.
I really thought I’d have stuff figured out by 40.
But I don’t. If anything, the opposite is true.
I think I’m finally learning just how much I DON’T know. And I think I’m finally learning that it’s ok not to have it all figured out by now.
It’s a funny place to be, really. If statistics hold and barring any accidents or disasters, I’m pretty much halfway through this journey of life. Strangely enough, that seems exciting to me. It’s like I spent the last 40 years figuring out who I am, and now I get to spend the next 40 years or so really BEING that person.
Although I know I don’t have life all figured out at this point, there are quite a lot of things that I have learned over the years that have shaped me and molded me into the person I am and the person I’m still becoming.
I’ve learned there are people in this world I would die for, and kill for, without a moment’s hesitation. But I’ve also learned that there are people in this world who despite my best efforts aren’t meant to be a part of my life, and that’s ok.
I’ve learned that a rainy afternoon of snuggles, giggles, stories and movies at home with my boys tops exciting vacations or action-packed adventures any day.
I’ve learned that there are things that I can’t control, no matter how badly I want to, and I’ve learned to (sometimes) let them go.
I’ve learned to ask for help. It’s hard for me, but no one cares if I’m a martyr except me and in general, the people who love you will help you if you let them.
I’ve learned that it’s never too late to try something new. I just signed up for a photography class. I’m going WAY outside of my comfort zone this year to join a writer’s group. I’ve begun to bump up my running with the vague goal of a marathon in the future. These are things that I’ve always been interested in doing, and if not now, then it will be never. Now’s my time.
I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of me. I’m much more concerned about how I feel about myself at the end of the day. If I can look back and see that I made good choices that allow me to sleep at night and I did no harm to others, then that was a pretty good day.
I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for what I want.
Most importantly though, I’ve learned that I’m not done. I’m not finished evolving into the person I’m meant to be. I’ve learned that I don’t have it all figured out and that it’s a pretty exciting journey I’m on, if I just let it be.
Read more about life at 40: The Contradictions of Being 40