Yup. I turned 40 today.
I've always thought of 40 as very old. I never met my grandpa because he was killed in a car crash when he was 40. He was "old". I remember my dad throwing my Mom a birthday party when she turned 40 and he had the wife of a friend of his make a cake with a rocking chair on it. She was "old". I didn't want to be "old".
Today I am "old".
Yet, I am not.
Most of my kids have parents that are older than I am. Many of my students' parents are my age--they have a 6 year old and my youngest is 15. I am just 7 years into my "grown up" job. In some ways I feel like I'm too young to be 40. If I were to write a letter to myself in the past, I would have never imagined all the good stuff I would have to share with past me. Growing up in a rental apartment for most of my life I would have never guessed I would have been a home owner at the age of 21. I never would have guessed I would now live on a street where I used to babysit and think "what a nice area to live in". It would have been inconceivable to imagine also owning a second home not for myself but to rent out. 'Past me' would never have imagined having grown children at this stage of my life. Not just grown but totally independent and traveling the world and 2 others in high school. I would have never imagined being totally in love with Conrad as much as I was 25 years ago. Some people only dream of that. I've traveled. I've owned a few vehicles. I've learned to renovate. I've earned two degrees. I've painted. I've secured my dream job. I've grown. I've changed. At 40 years old I have stroked so many things off my hypothetical bucket list.
I never wanted to be 40 or to be "old"....but I've watched people pass away wishing to grow older and that is important to remember. Each day is a blessing. When I was experiencing health issues in January I was reminded of this. Thankfully, the symptoms have not been evident for a few months but I think those weeks of not being able to do what I wanted because I just couldn't do it made me appreciate my life a little bit more. Maybe 40 isn't so bad.
Life is good. So very good. If the next 40 years hold even a fraction of how much goodness I've experienced in my first 40 then I am a very blessed person.