I am now 39.
I don’t think 39 is old. No way. It is just that it doesn’t sound young anymore. Sort of like I am sitting in this waiting room with one door that leads to “young” and the other door leading to “old” and I am stuck right in the middle of these doors, not really fitting into either. I guess this is what they call “middle aged” (and what an awful term that is by the way. Who came up with this?).
So I am a middle-aged 39 year old woman and mother of three who has been married for almost 16 years.
This sounds like the start of a depressing short story.
But what if we changed the story?
What if instead it read…
I am a woman who has been fortunate to live for 39 years, been blessed with three beautiful children and has shared too many memories to count with a man over the last 15 years.
This is why I love birthdays.
It isn’t about how old we are becoming. It is about how much life we have been able to live.
If I take a look at my 38th to my 39th year, life took me on a ride that I hadn’t been on in a while. Of course my 20’s were filled with unexpected adventures, new friends, big moves, new home, job changes, etc. That is to be expected and part of what makes your 20’s so exciting. I would have never expected to go through all of that again in my 30’s. And you know what…
It was exhilarating.
To feel that life is not stagnant, with twist and turns, highs and lows, was an incredible feeling this past year. Experiencing something new so often created a sense of wonder that I feel I lost in my daily routine. In many ways, my life was mapped out at the start of being 38 and yet, over a 12 month period, that same map was torn to shreds.
I was reminded in my 38th year that our story reads less like a manual and more like a “choose your own adventure”, you just have to be willing to play along.
I loved this past year.
So yesterday I turned 39.
Can I believe that 40 is on the horizon?
Am I excited to be 39?
I have no idea what the next 364 days hold (beyond party planning for my 40th which, if you know me, then you know it has already begun…) but what I do know is that I am entering it with the humility to know I am not in control, the understanding that life shouldn’t be taken for granted and the wisdom to enjoy the ride.
Let the countdown begin.