Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Now, about 40.

Is this what a mid-life crisis is? I’m not so sure about turning 40.

I am 29-days away from turning 40. There’s this looming sense of dread. Like I’m officially old or I’m supposed to have accomplished certain things or I need to have a certain amount of dollars saved or…or…or… I don’t think I like this. I’m sure there’s someone older (and clearly wiser) who is laughing at me saying I’m still so young…blah blah blah. Am I middle-aged now? Yep. That’s one checkbox I can firmly check, color in, and write a big ol’ X through.

I’ve always had some sort of benchmark for ages. When I turned 25 I thought I needed to be married by then, I wasn’t even dating anyone so I felt like that was a pretty big fail. When I turned 30 I had been married a few years, so I was on my way. Turning 30 made me proud. I’ve liked my 30’s. Yes, some of the years have been tough, but I did what I thought I needed to do at the time. Plus, what decade is perfect?

I’m not sure where I got this list of “you’re old when…” or “have this done by…”, it’s not very productive. I was typing an email and wrote, “Even as I’m about to hit 40…” Yeah, hit 40. Not “enter my 40’s” or “turn 40,” no, I’m hitting it. Smacking it just like a gnat flying around my head. Also, don’t even ask about the email, it’s a long story and not as interesting as it sounds.

When my mom turned 40, I was a senior in high school. Right now, my girls are in first grade and pre-school. I’m so far from where my mom was at this age. Maybe that’s what is bothering me? If I had given birth to my eldest, Georgia, at 21 like my mom did with me I’m not sure I would’ve been as good of a mom as I am now. On the other hand, my youngest, Violet, has a never-ending need to play and being younger would have it’s advantages.

I was lamenting my impending doom with my mom. She said she’d mentioned my feelings to one of my aunts who said, “Why? She’s accomplished so much more than I did at her age!” You know what. She’s right. I have accomplished a lot. In fact, if I’d accomplished what I thought I should’ve done by certain ages, my life wouldn’t have been half as interesting. This next bit isn’t to brag (turning 40, remember) but to get my head out of my…ahem…pASSt (I know it has 1 s, bear with me) and make myself remember what I’ve done in my life that is uniquely mine. After all, I’m not living someone else’s life, I’m living mine, there are no age rules (yet, I mean, let’s be serious.)

10 Things I’ve Done in My 39-years

  1. Went to Hong Kong and smuggled Bibles into China when I was 16
  2. Helped care for my grandma when she was fighting cancer
  3. Lived in Cardiff, Wales for a year (there’s a bunch of lists in this one alone!)
  4. Saw the aurora borealis in Northern Ireland by a peace wall in Belfast
  5. Led my eldest daughter to Christ, introduced the youngest, and can tell she’ll follow in her sister’s footsteps
  6. Went to China and Taiwan about six times for work
  7. Married a pretty amazing guy who leaves our girls with zero doubts about his love for them
  8. Traveled with my husband to Hawaii twice and London once
  9. Experienced Disney World through the eyes of my daughters
  10. Started writing a book about the loss of my brother

Actually, I could go on. There is so much to be thankful for. I’ve heard someone say “Age is just a number” and “Act your age, not your shoe size.” Luckily, both of those are true for me. I do not act seven-and-a-half and 39.99 is just a number. Maybe 40 won’t be so bad after all…maybe. <sigh>

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