On Tuesday, I turned 39. I thought I might hate it — the last year of my 30s, a sure sign of age, and middle-age, too, no question about it — but I’m happy.
More than happy, actually.
I’m proud and ecstatic and grateful and excited. I love what I’ve done and I cannot wait for what’s to come.
How lucky I am to live this life, to have all these adventures with the people I love more than anything. To see cities and countries and continents I’ve dreamed my whole life of seeing. To have friends and family all over the world who make my life so interesting and enjoyable and who I know I’ll always get to keep, no matter where I live. I am surrounded with good people everywhere I go: my parents and sisters and nephews and niece(s) and in-laws and cousins and aunts and uncles and more good friends than I deserve.
How fortunate I am to have a husband who loves me absolutely and who I adore. We’re flawed, both of us, but in just the right ways to complement each other I think. He entertains my occasionally outlandish ideas, and then, sometimes, he says – yes, let’s do that, that idea is not insane, it’s ingenious – and we move to England for three years. We’re a good team. We make things happen.
How grateful I am to have these four amazing children who are just the most fun and entertaining and interesting people I know. Good lord do they make me work hard, but every second of it is worth it for the moments when it all comes together. I look around at all of them, doing things they love, being silly and smart and funny and thoughtful and just becoming these whole, unique, amazing individuals and my heart hurts from the beauty of it all.
How privileged I am to be able to do a job I love, to get paid well, to feel at the end of the day like I did something that matters and is worthwhile. And to still have time and energy and the ability to do EVEN MORE things I enjoy and love, even when I don’t get paid for them.
I can see the physical signs of age, for sure. My forehead is so wrinkly it’s a bit horrifying, but I have bangs to mostly hide it. That might be the one and only thing I don’t like about my appearance, and if that’s all, I’ll take it. There’s a ton of grey in my hair, more than a little, but I don’t mind covering that up. New hair colors are fun. Gravity hasn’t been kind in every area, but I’ll keep on doing what I can to combat the effects of time and childbirth. I won’t age gracefully I don’t think, I’ll fight where I feel like it matters, but hopefully with some sense and balance. Age isn’t always easy when you look in the mirror, but I hope I can remember it isn’t all bad.
Where age takes physically, I think it gives in other areas. Age gives you perspective and hopefully a little wisdom and the ability to look back and compare now to then, and I am so happy for that chance. Now is amazing.
I am proud of where I am and what I’m doing, proud of my husband and my children, proud of how I look and feel. I like who I am. I apologize less now than I did ten years ago. I have a better understanding of what’s important. I love everything about my life, truly. What a gift.
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement…I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” — Mary Oliver