Thursday, June 18, 2015

40's the New 30...The Big Lie!

This is the year.
The dreaded year...the year of the BIG 40.

That may sound a bit dramatic but it's been an impeding event in my life that has slowly crept toward me continuously with no delay.  Every birthday for the last several years I have forgotten how old I am.  Strange story but true.

Each year I would say something like, "I'm gonna be 35 this year," and my husband would correct me and say, "No, this year you are gonna be 34..."  and I would celebrate like I just turned 18.

The next time the same thing would happen, "I'm gonna be 36 this year..."
"No, your gonna be 35..."

And so on.. it literally has happened for the last decade and it's been nice.
It's the kind of dementia thinking that I have actually applauded.
For some reason I have convinced myself that I am older then I am, and when corrected its like having a birthday on top of a birthday...a cake on top of a cake..I get so excited and feel younger, livelier, and more energetic.

But this year is different.

This time there is no mistaking what year it is.  Since the beginning of 2015 I have been aware that there is no messing up the dates this time; I can't miscalculate or forget what is about to happen.  Turning 40 is just months away and there is no denying it.

This means a lot of things for me.  It means I've been out of school for 22 years.  It means that I am almost the age my mother was when I got married, and my own son is the age I was when I met my husband.

The prime of life is passing, they say 40 is the new 30 but I'm just not buying it.

My legs are restless at night, my skin is stretchy, my back hurts, knees are swollen, stomach bloated...OK, I know it's not all an age factor, as I love ice cream & pizza and I'm far from being an athlete.  But...things are definitely changing.  Elasticity & energy are things I strive for now, not just something that shows up in the morning.  Toning has became a chore verses a natural look.  I forget my wallet, keys, phone, & kids quite often.  I forget that I forget and feel really horrible about that.  Dark circles are evident even though my bedtime screams at me around 7:30pm.  40 years are just settling in and the evidence of it is everywhere.

I was with some people not long ago and they laughed at my dreaded thoughts.  They said that 40 is the prime time, its a new start, a fresh beginning to great things.

I rolled my eyes.
It's easy for someone to say that's not there yet, or someone who has passed this point.
Can someone my age relate to me??

Surely I can't be the only one who feels a bit of desperation for youth.

After some time and as the days close in, I have realized that I was right...40 is not the new 30!
40 is just the new 40.

I don't want to redo the 30's, I gained a lot there, but I don't want to live them again.  In my 30's I gained spiritual growth from working through some hard challenges.  The Lord brought people in my life and back out again.  I picked up some wisdom from life experiences and time in His word.  I have regrets in the last ten years, as I would be foolish to say that I didn't.  I also fell in love with my husband deeper in those years, and watched my kids grow...my daughter was born 10 years ago and we were able to have 3 more after her.  I would love to see it all over again but I really like where they are now.  I pray I'm more mature than I was back then and a better mother & wife.  My body may be a bit different and but I don't miss the trials of those times and I'm glad to be facing forward.

I am not excited about being older but I am starting to embrace what's ahead.  I'm hoping that I can be as dynamic as my adolescence years, daring as my teens, free as my 20's, and steady as my 30's...all wrapped up in one.  Instead of doom creeping closer, I'm sensing a big party.  40 candles, lots of little ones helping me blow them out, and my sweet husband cheering me on for the next decade of life with him.

I'm thankful for 40, and I'm gonna be OK with miscalculating into my 50's.
I am just glad that Ive been given the time that I have had; many don't get to enjoy aging and their lives are shortened by various things.  For whatever reason, I get to be here and I couldn't be happier about that.

I think I'll tip my wine and eat my cake with a forty's grin of accomplishment, reminding myself how gracious the Lord has been to me & my family and how much He has taught us about life, love, and truth.  Happy Birthday to me....soon (and not a day earlier)    :)




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