Thursday, September 29, 2016

On turning 40

Yesterday I turned 40, and to be honest it doesn't seem real at all.  Forty has always seemed so far away, so grown old!  Yet here I am saying goodbye to my thirties, and while it feels big, I have decided to embrace it and welcome my midlife with open arms.

The big difference between 30 and 40 is the feeling of contentment and being settled.  I'm no longer planning when or if we should have another baby.  I'm no longer stressing over whether I should check out a new career path.  I am settled into my life, my marriage, parenting....and it feels good. it's not that I don't still have dreams about the future; I guess it's just that the urgency is different now.  I feel more comfortable in my own skin now than when I was 30.  Never mind the few grey hairs, or the smile lines that are forming around my eyes.  I know myself better, and I am more aware of and more able to focus on the things that are important to me.  I feel that so much of my 30s were the "planning" years, the adjusting to being a parent years, the becoming a better and more productive wife years -- the figuring out my identity years.

Sometimes I feel like the days are just slipping away unnoticed.  I try to grab hold of all those "little moments", but, at times, the chaos of every day life just pulls them away.  Time can be such a funny thing - it lulls you into feeling like it's moving so slowly, that it will always be there.  And then suddenly it's gone.  I have no idea what the future will hold, but the last 30 years have been so full of growth and SO many lessons learned.  I'm not going to let it get me down.  I'm going to use this as a starting point for the rest of my life. Bring on the 40s.

Here's a few things I have learned for sure:

-  Age is just a number...I still feel 25
-  Having growing children will keep you young (tired, but young)
-  Pursuing your passion every day is good for the soul
-  A good nights sleep and lots of water are better for you than botox
-  Life is too short (and to precious) for drama
-  Toxic people have no place in your life
-  Family is everything
-  It is okay to not fit in
-  Confidence comes from being yourself
-  I am WAY stronger than I ever knew
-  There is nothing wrong with boundaries
-  Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time
-  It is okay to ask for things you need
-  My parents were right about almost everything
-  I know what I want and I won't settle for anything less

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thoughts on Max

Do you ever sometimes just look at your kids and wonder where the Hell the time went.  I do this often.  Maybe it's because I'm soon approaching 40.  Maybe it's because in another year, even my youngest son will probably be an inch taller than me.  I'm not sure, but I've already got one child with a foot out of the nest, and I'm realizing that my middle boy is, in all reality, not far behind.

To my Max;

If your life was a road trip, I would find myself wondering why on earth we ever even thought about once going over the speed limit, why we passed other cars in our race to our destination, why we didn't take a few more pit stops along the way.

Some days it's hard to believe that you are 16.  You wear it well.  This is both a compliment, and not. You are moody and emotional, complicated and complex.  You challenge me in ways I never thought possible.  You have opinions and insight about the world, politics, humanity.  There are things in your life that I don't know, which I like to think is a relatively new phenomenon.

You are also witty and sweet, ethereally handsome, and still boyish is all the right ways, even as your shoulders have broadened, and your feet have outpaced mine in size and stride for a couple of years now.

These teenage years are like a highway under construction - the trip takes on a new element of challenge, even from an experienced driver like me, who traveled down a similar freeway with your older brother.  Your highway has been a different road, with detours, and barricades, and near constant confusion.  I am learning to appreciate the traffic and the opportunity it has given me to remember that this journey won't be forever.....and that is both the best and worst thing.

One day we will roll up to our destination in the true meaning of the word awe.  The adult version of your will dwarf the wonder of the Grand Canyon.  You are a gift that I have given the world, and I am so confident in my offering.  I will revel in the success of our arrival, and I will mourn the end of our journey at the same time.  I will lament those cheesy road side pitstops that I chose to skip, and the boring hours will take on a rosy glow that only nostalgia can bring.

I hope I've planned enough and not too much.  I hope I've made the hours pass with ease.  I hope you know that I knew the way, even when it seems like I didn't.  Because you and your brothers -- you are my way.

Thanks for accompanying me so closely on this leg of our trip through life, and for being one of the best guides I could get.

I like you, I love you, I will always protect you, and I will be here for you no matter what.

Love, Mom.

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