Today, I am 40. How in the hell did that happen? I should start off by saying that you’ll have to excuse this little self-indulgent post. I will try and keep it short and sweet. Okay, maybe it won’t be so “sweet” but short would be good right?
I have been thinking about this day for quite some time. Probably since I turned 39 and realized, “Holy freaking crap, I am leaving my thirties and entering the dreaded 40 zone?” I know it isn’t a huge deal. I mean, Vans turned 40 eons ago and he survived right? 🙂
Yet for some reason, this milestone, this marker, has brought on actual change (stay with me here). When I went from 20 to 21 I didn’t really notice a general shift in anything. Sure, yea, I could buy alcohol, whoopee! I wasn’t a huge drinker at the time so it didn’t matter (well times have changed and I do love my occasional glass of wine and a really well made margarita – don’t hate me, I have two kids damn it!).
When I went from 29 to 30 I was pretty down about it. I absolutely loved my twenties! I mean, I moved to California, I got my own apartment, I met Vans and I traveled to Italy with just a backpack!
I also got laid off, went back to school, got a new degree and started a whole new-fangled life in a new profession. I also got engaged and married all within a span of 4 months (no I wasn’t pregnant) all in my twenties! It was great. And then, 30 came.
Turning 30 wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t notice any “significant” changes other than I felt that I had to act more grown up. Did I? Probably not. Okay, most definitely not but I did have this sense that I was supposed to. We bought a real house, had kids and did all the things 30 year olds are supposed to do I guess.
However, 30 I felt was mostly just counting down to (gulp) 40.
This last year of being 39 has been nothing short of awesome. I have had so many wonderful things happen. My baby entered kindergarten and while this only made me feel OLDER it has been quite amazing watching her grow into the little stubborn (see above – margaritas do help) person she is today. My oldest is actually more like a little adult now (again, making me feel much older – thanks kid) but it has been incredible having this little “partner” to do things with.
I also went on a road trip this year with my Wolfpack and trail sisters to Ashland, Oregon (and laughed my a$$ off). I spent a week in Tahoe with my family over Thanksgiving and have never been happier.
I had a stellar racing year, one I doubt I will ever duplicate. I ran my first 100k at Quicksilver. I qualified for Western States. I even placed in a few small local races and when you’re at the bottom of your age bracket that feels pretty awesome (it doesn’t matter that they were “small” races – just let me have the glory alright?!).
However, I have had what I feel is a more noticeable shift; a change or transformation if you will these last few months of my 39-dom. Do you want to know what that shift was? Essentially, I don’t care anymore! Don’t get me wrong, I CARE! Of course I care about things and about people, but I care far less about silly frivolous things we have no control over and in all honesty, I care less about what people think of ME. Not that I ever really cared THAT much (ask Vans – when it comes to appearances I have always walked to the beat of my own drum, especially in the fashion department).
Basically, I feel like turning 40 has given me a gift. Something that I consider to be very important. Forty has given me the gift of self-esteem and the gift of confidence. It wasn’t that I didn’t have these things before but I think now, it just comes easier. It is hard to articulate into words but turning 40 hasn’t been so bad.
I know who I am now. I don’t feel like I am waiting to find out who I am going to ‘grow up’ to be because, I am there. I am her. And damn it, she rocks! Told you this was a self-indulgent post. 🙂
So I am embracing 40. I am taking it by the horns and saying “Hell yea! Let’s do this!” I am on the top of my game. I feel better than I ever have. I am healthier than ever. I have a fabulous family who is my world (on both the west and east coasts). I have friends that make me laugh, go on adventures, text or Facebook me funny things. What more could I ask for? So what if I am entering the toughest age-bracket on the trail running scene … (damn those women are FAST) but it is empowering, it is motivating and it just reinforces my “forty is effing awesome” theory.
So there isn’t much else to say really (I already surpassed this post being “short” – sorry). I am 40. I am effing 40 damn it (I think turning 40 means you curse a lot more too but I am not sure). So Happy Birthday to me!
Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me these last 40 years! Near and far, you all know who you are! You are part of the reason I am who I am today… at 40. Geez, I am 40? I think I just have to keep saying it for it to fully sink in … 40 … 40 … 40.
Okay 40, let’s do this!