My two best friends started giving me the count down yesterday with texts.
“T-minus 8 hours.”
“Only 3 more hours and you'll be in the 40’s club!”
“Don't forget to stretch. When you’re forty you need to stretch.”
I really did think I'd freak out for a minute when I hit forty, mostly because I didn't freak out at thirty. Well, today I turned forty and no freak out. Oddly, just the opposite happened.
I felt the light hit my face when I woke and immediately became vibrant (even with a terrible night of sleep). Nothing negative could penetrate my skin. The glass was half full all day and no one could prove otherwise. I felt more inspired at the gym and pushed harder. Embracing my motherhood role with renewed love was the biggest surprise to me.
I truly thought I'd feel normal, like it was any other day (like most birthdays when you're an adult). The surprise was the best kind; so very unexpected and thoroughly necessary.
I always thought it was hokey bullshit when people say, “Forties are the time when you really feel confident in your own skin.” My thought: I'll feel in my skin at forty how I did at 39. Duh!
Something has happened over the past six weeks, intentionally of course. I've been crazy healthy with food choices and workouts aren't an option, I just do them. Even though the change was intentional I didn't realize how much I was really setting myself up for emotional success on this day.
Instead of being a typical and self-loathing woman that our society has bred, I am in a great headspace today. I'm heading in the direction of where I want to be instead of wishing I was there. Doing the work is forcing me to embrace the journey. The gratitude I feel is beyond ridiculous.
It's a good place.
Now, when the hot flashes and stupid hormone spikes start I'm sure we'll have a slightly different conversation!
This is forty. My forty.
Laugh lines from good times with great friends and family.
Sun spots from being a stupid teenager (who thought baby oil was a good sunning product).
Green eyes given to me by my ancestors and passed on to my children.
Wrinkles on my neck from looking over my shoulders and trying to grow eyes in the back of my head the INSTANT I gave birth to children.
A nose ring to say, “Damn the man” at an important time in my life and to maintain my independence.