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40 Years, 312 Days and Counting

I’m 312 days into being 40.

You might recall turning 40 was a horrible experience. I cried on my birthday–in spite of the beautiful Bon Jovi cupcakes my children made me. I don’t know what came over me, I just didn’t want to be 40.
So here we are…53 days away from turning 41. It’s going to be a lot easier than the big 4-0. I’ve learned a lot in 312 days. Allow me to share the lessons of 40 years and 312 days.
40 years

Allow me to introduce you to INVINCIBILITY. That single word that means you are incapable of being overcome or defeated. In a lifetime, far, far away–otherwise known as High School–I was the arm wrestling CHAMP!

In 9th Grade, I defeated all the Jr. Varsity Football players in the sport. I could run a mile–though really had no interest in doing so. I could pitch a ball and hold my breath underwater for minutes! I could do one-armed push ups and chin ups.
I had energy.
I was invincible.
Welcome to 40 and a few new words: weak, defenseless, helpless, exposed, in danger, at risk.

Am I getting my point across?

Maybe it was that decade before 40 that made me weak, but I’m blaming it all on turning 40…I’m exhausted!

Thankfully, I can float because holding my breath under water is nearly impossible.

My knees creak and crack at WALKING.

I tried to do a chin up at the park (showing off for the kiddos) and it ended up being Mom just hanging there…the children were NOT the least bit impressed.

Walking up a flight of stairs takes my breath out of me.

At 40 I can gain eight pounds over night and spend an entire month trying to lose it all to have the scale rebel and tell me, “Nice try, but you’re 40!”! I can walk, watch what I eat and still, that fat clings to me!

While walking my kiddos to the bus stop they were jumping off the retaining wall. They chanted, “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Always eager to please my fans, I climbed the wall and without fear jumped.
I probably won’t walk right for a week!

From the top of the wall, my mind told me I was 20—at the bottom of the wall, my body reminded me I am 40!

So I think at 40, I’m finally going to have to give up the idea that I am INVINCIBLE.

Twenty Years ago, I thought I could rule the world.

I had just gotten married.

I would soon be a new Mommy.

I still had a memory and retained what I learned in school. I really didn’t know anything about life. I had big dreams. I was still finding myself and sometimes that came out in a manner that was not great. I didn’t care. I was me and no one was going to change me.

Now, I see myself as someone who, with some dedication, can make small changes in my world.

I’ve become a Mom six times.

My memory fails me often–this is amusing to my children as I can barely remember where my keys are right after I’ve set them down.

In many ways, I am still finding myself.

In more ways, I have learned hard lessons and become a person who I am proud to call a friend. I have fewer relationships, however, they are stronger than the ones I had 20 years ago.

I still have big dreams, but they are more realistic. They are more reflective of who I am inside, rather than what I perceive others want from me.

My goals are no longer what define me, but I am more what defines my goals. I see more clearly the direction I want to go and am wiser now in choosing the path.

Prior to turning 40, I had no questions. I was looking forward to it and there was going to be absolutely nothing negative about it. Now that I AM 40, I am continually saying to my mom, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I wish someone would have told me my skin would start to thin.

I wish someone would have told me it takes a lot more color to cover the grays.

I wish someone would have told me everything starts to fade: the brilliance of your eyes, the glow in your skin, the vibrancy of your hair, the whiteness of your teeth.

I wish someone would have told me my face would start acting like it was in puberty again.

I wish someone would have told me I’d cry alot…for absolutely no reason.

I wish someone would have told me it was going to be the largest reality check of my life.

I wish someone would have told me the pride I’d feel when my oldest starts college.

I wish someone would have told me I can’t eat the same things I use to.

I wish someone would have told me it’s amazing!

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