Wow! If 40 years didn’t sound like much……..that number has some weight to it! Thinking of how I’ve spent some of those days gives me reason to pause.
At work last week someone said something negative about getting older. All that I could say was, “It beats the alternative.” And it’s true. There are so many women who never reach 40. I am so blessed to have lived those 14,600 days. I’m so thankful to be at this point in my life and to know myself SO well. Within a few minutes of entering a “less than nice” mood, I can usually whisper a prayer and turn myself around. Thankfully, I have a few friends who are also comfortable enough to tell me to get over it! I found this quote that I thought summed up this whole age thing pretty well. “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” – Ann Landers
I think I might be a little ahead because I’ve already realized that people think of me and what I say/don’t say or do/don’t do WAAAYYY less than I do. I’ve been guilty of going over and over conversations in my head and overanalyzing how they might have been received. Nine times out of ten, the person I was talking with had moved on about 30 second later.
Looking back, honestly not many specific days stand out. I remember high school graduation (my 18th birthday) and the anxiety of my future. That day was so sad and so exciting all at the same time. How exciting to have your entire adult life ahead of you! I remember vaguely the joy of holding each baby for the first time, immeasurable joy all swirled together with medications, unexplainable fatigue and a hint of betadine hovering in the air. I remember the day that I drove to Jackson to meet Henry for the first time. The five hours that I sat with him and talked flew by like a few seconds. So that’s six…..hmmmmm.
What did I do with the other 14,594? I can’t say that I fully lived many of them, as I know all too well that I wasted many of those days on things that didn’t matter at all. Some were filled with worry and self doubt. Some were overshadowed by stress, often brought on by my own stupidity. Some were spent in the valley of self pity or self comparison. I’m so thankful to say that most recently they are more often than not filled with self confidence and peace. I am happy with who I am. That is NOT the same as me saying that I don’t want to be better, because I do. I have so much improving to do in so many areas and fall short of who I’d like to be most days. What I do have is a pretty clear vision of who I want to be (when I grow up….ha ha!) I pray every day that somehow I will be able to make that day count in someone’s life. I certainly hope I’m investing of my time and my talents in ways that help those around me. I don’t feel the need to impress people with “who” I am anymore. I believe I have worth and I know it is only because I have a savior who died for me to make it so. I am confident that my husband loves me and me only. What a blessing! I know that my children know that my intentions are good and that my heart’s desires for them are pure.
So what have I learned? I have learned that life is a gift. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of it! I’ve learned that parenting was way harder than I could have dreamed possible. I’ve also learned that its rewards have no end. I’ve learned that marriage is hard work on a good day but it’s so worth it! I’ve learned that when I’m doing something I love, I have a limitless supply of energy. I need to take more time to chase those things that energize me. That’s a goal for my next 40 years.
I’m so blessed. So so very blessed.