Well, excuse my French, but this is a f*cked up birthday! Haha - in my group of friends, we celebrate 40's with a BANG: vacations and chalet rentals and NO KIDS. So, that's not happening... at least, not right now.
Maybe it's the lack of hoopla that's making me feel okay about turning 40. Truth be told, I literally cried ALL DAY of my 30th... going from my 20s to my 30s hurt. And at the time, I couldn't even imagine what turning 40 would feel like.
But I'm 40... and it feels great. See those lines around my eyes and across my forehead? I earned those. That comes from being passionate and emotional, from pushing myself to smile as often as possible as well as to ponder things (however, that crease above my nose may be from thinking "WTF" a few too many times). But I'm okay with those creases. They're full of life experience.
I have a few white hairs that like to shine through (why are the white ones so darn thick and obvious?!). Those were earned too - from being an attentive, worried mom who always pushed to give her bean the best, day in and day out, who has always tried to be a good friend and neighbour, and I wear those grey streaks with pride (most of the time... sometimes I do admittedly pluck out those suckers).
My hands look older. I notice this all the time. But these hands have done a lot in 40 years. Those lined knuckles and dry nail beds - they're from a lot of gardening and cooking and creating and cleaning and touching and loving. My hands reflect my handiwork. I love them.
My mind is quieter. Yes, I still have those nights where my brain just won't shut off (pandemics are terrible for this...), but I am much more at peace with my daily decisions. When I was in my 20s, I over-thought everything. The 30s were filled with big moments: weddings and first-house purchases and new babies and puppies - these came with their own never-ending streams of questions. But it's calmer now...
My heart is lighter. I am a natural-born people-pleaser. I also dwell on things much too much. I've noticed this is dwindling with age. Perhaps I have less patience when it comes to getting people to like me (I'm kinda over it). Whatever it is, it is definitely the most freeing thing of my fourth decade.
So happy birthday to me. The best gift I can give myself for my 40th year is to read this regularly and remind myself: this feels great!
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.