I am smiling and maybe tearing up a little as I write this.
I am forty... and I couldn't be any more excited!! I could seriously turn cartwheels right now!! I learned a lot in my thirties and I'm glad I followed some important bits of advice:
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Stay out of the sun.
Drink more water.
It's pretty hard to stay out of the sun when you're at the beach all the time, but I have learned to stay under an umbrella and slather on the sunblock. For a girl who used to live and die by the baby oil tan, that was a tough lesson to learn. Not as difficult as not sweating the small stuff, but that comes in time. And seriously, drink more water. All day. Your body and your skin will love you for it.
I want to describe this amazing feeling to all of you still coming up... but I can't find the words.
I want to thank all the beautiful, graceful women over forty in my life for letting me find those words myself.
But what they did say to me about this day is true:
You won't care so much what other people think.
You'll want to enjoy every moment.
You're still so young.
You're right on time.
I made a 40x40 list (things to do before I turned forty). I haven't checked every item off, and I'm totally okay with that. Back in January, I was worried that I would look like a loser if I didn't get to them all. Now? Not so much. I'm still working on the list. I updated it today. I marked some DONE, amended others, and still others were crossed off completely. I even filled in some TBDs that I left open... and I'm so glad I did.
And yeah, I still do feel pretty young. I still giggle when I swim in the ocean. I run and chase my kids in the park. I still Woo Hoo inappropriately in the middle of a party when I feel all good inside!
My knees hurt a little more. I'm wearing comfortable shoes more often. And there are a lot of comfort foods that make me uncomfortable now. But I still feel young... in heart... in mind... in spirit.
I've started arriving places on time... sometimes. I'm even getting better at saying no to myself. I'm watching what I eat, not because I'm on a diet, but because I want to live to be a healthy 80-something that still giggles when she swims in the ocean.
I still feel sad when people close to me try to pluck off my wings... but I spend less time with them... less time worrying about how to make them happy. It's not up to me to make someone else happy. I bless them... and release them... and sometimes accept them back into my life (with eyes wide open) when they are in a place of love and health. But I don't let them hurt me anymore.
I've learned who I can go to when I need to fly. And those are the people I spend my precious time with. Because time IS precious! And I'd much rather spend that time with the people I find my joy with. Those are the people I will cross desolate patches of country to see. They let me into their lives and they find places in my heart. They open their homes to me. They share their stories with me. They enrich me by the simple act of being themselves.
I've also learned that those people aren't always available and that I need to still find my own joy. I know what makes me smile. I know what makes my heart sing. More importantly, I know when I need to call on those reserves... to reach deep inside... to bounce back from a hurtful word or a challenge. I know now. And that is a power that no one can take from me.
I've learned how to be fabulous by watching all the fabulous women before me.
Now it's time for me to be forty... and FABULOUS!!