This month I celebrated my 40th birthday.
I love birthdays and the great celebration of life that they can be. Since my 24th birthday, which I celebrated in Ireland, I’ve taken a few days to celebrate my birthday. I never really feel like one day is enough. A weekend or even a three day event is not unheard of for me. But this birthday was a special one. It ends in a zero and, as such, needed the whole month to celebrate!
I’m not talking 31 days of non-stop partying. I’m not 20! No, it has been a more sedate and measured festival…or #fistivalof40 as I’ve been calling it. (I have to put part of my name in there somewhere!) I’ve been really trying to embrace life and all the the joys therein. I’ve been taking photos of things I like, trying to capture moments of enjoyment and put them in the modern day version of a bug in amber that is Instagram.
It hasn’t been all sparkling droplets of wonder and happiness every day. Life isn’t perfect. But I’m determined to highlight the good and happy and joyful times and to find those moments even in the midst of feeling the exact opposite.
I’m not all that happy that I’m not in my 30s anymore but I remember that on my 30th birthday I mourned the passing of my 20s. I’m still here. I’m probably happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life and certainly more contented (which I tend to think is better than happiness anyway).
So here are some things I want to celebrate…
- My loving partner. In Sean I have a man who loves me at my best and at my worst and at all points in between. He knows me better than I know myself and accepts me and celebrates the woman I have become through 40 years of forging.
- My beautiful daughter. Her smiles and her laughter are all the payment and accolade I ever need. She is my purpose and she gives meaning to my life. I am a new person since she came into my life. A better person. And she gives me reason to be better still.
- My mother. She loves and supports me no matter what. We have our ups and downs but she is constant and never turns me away.
- My brothers. We don’t often see one another but I know they are there and I trust in their love and support. They are the best kind of big brothers a girl could have.
- Good friends. I am blessed with the love of some very good people in my life that I can count on as friends. We’ve come into each others lives in many and different ways and I am made better for knowing them.
- God. He’s a little further down the list than He should be but I must thank God for the gift of my life. He has blessed me with 40 years and most of them haven’t been too bad at all. Being an October baby, I’m lucky enough that God sends me a beautiful bouquet for my birthday every year in the form of the jacaranda trees which grow so plentifully in this part of the world and which bloom at just the right time. I love them and I thank God for the beauty of the world we live in.
I have so much to be thankful for.
I just want to finish this off by saying that I intend to really embrace that well known phrase, “Life begins at 40”, by embracing life itself. I don’t want to enter the second half of my life in fear or regret or anything other than excitement and hope. I want to do things I’ve never done before. To that end, on my birthday I actually played putt-putt for the first time ever. I loved it! …and not just because I won! I want to keep moving forward and doing new things.
Now, I really just want to finish on one thing. There’s a U2 song that I’ve always loved for more reasons than I care to go into right now. I just want to leave you with that song. It is “40”.