I also, somewhere around August, decided to celebrate everyday. You know what happened...even the little things felt like someone giving me an early birthday present.
My husband announced that I was having a party and that is all there was to it. It worked out since my birthday fell on a Saturday I could actually celebrate on my day. That morning my hubby joked that I was still 26. (which turned into a math problem for the kids with horrifying consequences).
The night of my party many friends and family members came to celebrate little ole me. It was a little overwhelming just how much love was in that room. I looked around and took note that every phase of my life was represented. I had my family who was there from my birth, high school friends, my college friends, friends I met while trying to figure out this raising children thing, friends I made once our kids began entering school, and friends I made just this year who already share their wisdom with me.
When I looked around that room I realized going back would mean erasing time and some of those relationships. Now that is something I would never want to do. I also realized that I have gained some hard earned wisdom in my years and I don't want to undo that either. So you know what? I am happy to be 40. I have earned being 40. I also believe we have a duty to share the lessons we've learned so here it goes:
What I have learned in my 40 years:
2. Appreciate the ones you love now, don't wait, tomorrow isn't for sure. I've lost plenty of loved ones both young and older over the past few years and not once did I expect it. I know of children battling cancer...no one is immune, we will all face our maker...so treat every day like it's your last and appreciate those you love!
3. Confidence is a beautiful thing! I used to think that confidence looked like arrogance and I can say now that that is not true. Confidence looks like a person who knows their strengths, knows the gifts God gave them and aren't afraid to use them,. Confidence looks like someone who can speak their mind without the fear of other opinions. This isn't to say that bullying with your words is ok...I am more thinking about being comfortable with your own values and not being afraid to talk about them regardless of who you are talking to. I have friends from all walks of life and I don't hide the fact that I'm a Christian. Somehow we not only don't hate each other, we know and understand each others viewpoints more in depth. Confidence is not boastful, it is a simple unadorned comfort in who you are as a person. I am enjoying the confidence my years on this earth has brought. Enjoying it way more than I did the insecurity of my earlier years.
4. Do not stagnate! People might laugh when they hear I went to school as pre-vet. Worked in the biology field for all of 6 months. Then worked for a non-profit running the office. This led to getting my Masters in Business with an emphasis in health care organization. That turned into grant writing and marketing. When the non-profit closed I became a stay-at-home mom. Most of my mom career I worked odds and ends job ( most of which paid at or slightly above the current minimum wage-but it allowed me to be with my babies). Now I work within the school system and am contemplating a credential as well as selling Young Living Essential oils. Some might say, "geez pick something and stay with it!" I will tell you I gained insight and knowledge that I was able to carry forward from each of those roles. You don't have to change careers every 7 years, but you should always be a student. Take an art class, join a choir, volunteer. Do something that you can hang on to beyond retirement. I've watched my parents and learned from them...no one ever thinks they are the age they are...they have never stagnated and I don't intend to either.
There is more I have learned but I want to keep this post to a reasonable amount. I guess my main point is this, when I was 18, I had no voice, I was painfully shy (I cried my first night at college), I didn't want to share my talents because I was pretty sure I didn't have any, and I truly didn't understand much about the world or my faith. I am still learning but I can say with all honesty I am enjoying the strength and confidence of being 40 immensely!!