40 and counting

As I was typing up a quick thank you on Facebook, I decided I wanted to write more. More than just a thank you for my birthday wishes. I miss writing, but when I have the time I seem to be at a loss for what to say. Later I’ll have some witty commentary I want to get down, but as I finally sit, it’s gone. So says the 40 year old mind.

I wanted to take a moment though as I sit here with my cup of coffee and reflect a bit on turning 40. While I take little stock in numbers and value far more how I feel, where I am in my life and where I’m heading. It seems that 40 is a pretty decent milestone to stop and pause and digest.

I am grateful. First and foremost. I am healthy, at this point in my mothers life she had battled cancer for the first time and had gone through a few surgeries. If you’ve ever had someone that close to you go through something like that, in my own mind, it was a milestone to get past her diagnosis. Like it was a race that I wanted to win to prove my path was different. I have been blessed. Despite a bit of a scare last year, I am healthy and I am grateful.

I have three amazing children who love me, frustrate me, challenge me and make me laugh every single day. Recently I have had some opportunities to travel and have been gone for a few days at a time. I find that leaving them no longer brings the restoration it once did when they were small. I prefer to be at home with them on our couch talking, laughing or just hanging out. I cherish it really. I think with arriving at 4o I also see that my time with my kiddos as I know it is dwindling. It has put me in a sort of panic, wanting to soak up each and every moment. I am chronically putting them to bed too late so we can talk, just a little more. Fortunately they have their parents gift for gab and are all too happy to oblige. I think about them, how they are doing in school, in their social lives, in their activities and I couldn’t be more proud. My heart swells when I reflect on how different they are, how they have such unique strengths and qualities that make them, them. It’s a bit like the excitement of when they walk for the first time or go to Kindergarten, I can’t wait until I see what becomes of them. Unlike walking and Kindergarten, however, I am not in a hurry to get to this milestone.

For the last year Ryan and I have been working side by side on projects with our company, Page Construction Services. Or as I fondly refer to it as PCS because it’s so damn wordy. (Love you babe) I know most people don’t feel they could work quite so closely with their spouse and I am sure many could or would not find it productive. For us however, it’s how we started. That silly 6th floor at CAP, where we worked on projects together, fought, designed, compromised and agreed. We learned how to work together in a variety of contexts and it formed the relationship we are blessed with today. I know I can speak for Ryan when I say we are so much stronger working together, rather than apart. Sure other jobs I’ve held have filled me in different ways, but there is nothing like working together on a project. The design is better, the communication is better, the outcome is better. It is an amazing experience. I see interviews or read articles about Chip and Jo of Fixer Upper and how they describe that working together just works for them. While we’re not Chip and Jo, I couldn’t agree more. My favorite days are when Ryan and I work on a project together. I am grateful we get to do this for a living.

I think about 40 and how it’s suppose to be old. You also hear that 40 is the new 30, which is often spoken by 40 year olds. There are things that 40 brings that suck, like a new stiffness in the morning when I get out of bed or weight gain from confused hormones. I’d love to say that I’m at a place where I don’t care what people think. I’m not there, I’m confident in who I am and what I believe, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m not insecure or feel left out and alone at times. I also find that 40 also brings a sadness through the loss of lives and friendships and relationships. I struggle with depression and it rears it’s ugliness during times of stress and anxiety more easily as I’ve gotten older. These are things that 40 can’t take away.

There is however, some grace that comes with 40. When I see clearly, I see what matters and what doesn’t. I feel more compelled to speak my mind when it comes to rights and wrongs. I am less worried about the things that don’t add to our lives. I have less tolerance for petty things. I can see people for who they are and discern their gifts more easily. I think about where I want to go and how I want to be as I age. I have never been one of those people who longs to go back in time. I’ve always enjoyed the phase I was in, for what it was and how long it lasted. I have fond memories and sure there are moments that I would love to do over or experience one more time to soak them in, but I wouldn’t go back in time for them. There is too much to look forward to ahead of me to want to go back. I am grateful for that perspective which I think contributes to why I wasn’t dreading 40 to begin with.

Overall 40 is fine. 40 doesn’t really matter because it just marks my days here on earth. It tells no one who I am or anything about me other than I have a new box to check on personal info questionaires. I prefer to think about those I’ve known who would have liked to reach 40. Who would have been magnificent at 40, but didn’t get that chance. In that light, 40 is pretty freaking awesome. So as today gets started and I am 40 plus one day I will continue to walk as I do, act as I do and think as I do on any other day. I am grateful to those who’ve made my birthday special. You don’t realize how kind words can lift a person up and make them feel special, honored even. How lovely to hear such nice things about you, what you mean, how you make people feel. I am grateful, even if Facebook had to remind you, I am grateful you took the time to send a message, text or call. It feels good. It feels like love and you can’t go wrong with that.

So onward to forty one and beyond. It is a good season and I shall embrace it.

Thanks!

3 comments

Mary Castor - September 14, 2016 - 9:08 am

Such a lovely message, Annie! Just turned 50 this year and this getting older thing keeps getting better. Enjoyed your blog and am a little envious that you are going to Magnolia Farms. I LOVE Fixer Upper. Have fun!!!

Robin Herriman - September 14, 2016 - 11:49 am

Ann……Well said Honey…..Take it from this 54 year old….Live your life happy, laugh everyday, and look around at the beautiful things around you…your family, your puppies and kitty’s…the flowers, birds and butterflies…your true friendships…I live my life with an open heart every day….If I passed away tomorrow I have absolutely no regrets and have had wonderful love and happiness and lots of fun in my life…
Live your Life with a “HAPPY HEART”
Don’t ever change one single thing about you….

Paulette Mann - September 15, 2016 - 1:05 am

Your reflections are moving and inspiring.
I’m now 60 and I can’t believe how the time zoomed by since I was your beUtiful dad and moms student in the 70’s back in Chicago. Surely your dad has his own perspective ! You are filled with joy , appreciation and love❤️ Your lucky and know it. God bless

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