Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You say it's your birthday...

Yesterday I turned 41.  Ugh.  Seems like I was 30 only a couple of years ago.  I have to say, despite the changes my body keeps making and the fact that my memory is fading fast, the 40s are a good place to be.  My mom's always said life begins at 40, and so far it's been my best decade yet. I know myself better, feel more comfortable in my own skin, and have a more accepting, embracing view of others.  I am able to see more good in a world that is often scary, unfair, and unkind.  I am more able to laugh at myself and less prone to take life seriously.  I am less obsessed wtih being perfect and have more courage to try new things, knowing I will sometimes fail.  I am able to have confidence in myself as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and also to forgive the times when I get things wrong and make mistakes with those I love.  I still have many (MANY!) moments of anxiety and self-doubt, I have not acheived a total state of zen by any means!  However, I do feel more at home in the world, and with myself.  And today, at the age of 41 and one day, that is a great place to be.

I had a lovely birthday this year.  My husband and daughter made dinner for me (he cooked my favorite meal and cleaned up!) and gave me a Hannah Montanna cake.  I could be wrong, but I think my 6 year old picked it out.  :)  They also gave me a necklace that says "I love you to the moon and back" and it has their names on the back.  I also got a tile that says "Art before dishes".  Looking at the state of my kitchen right now, all I can say to that is a hearty AMEN.

After I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten yesterday, I came home, made myself a cup of coffee, planted myself on the sofa with my animals, and watched Jane Austen's "Emma" on PBS.  I'd recorded it a month ago but never allowed myself time to watch.  Then I took a nap for an hour, which I NEVER do!  After my daughter came home, we played outside in the sunshine.  The icing on the cake was a trip to Sonic for Happy Hour and my favorite large unsweet tea.  Ahhhh...  It was a great way to celebrate another year of being alive.  I have so much to be thankful for.

The blond girl above is me at age 4 with my neighbor and BFF, Martha.  We were playing dress-up in my fanciest frocks, that happened to be about 3 sizes too small.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  We crammed ourselves into undersized velvet, chiffon, and lace, stuffing our feet into tiny pattened leather shoes.  We grabbed our ragdolls and posed on my front porch while my mom took our picture.  In our 4 year old minds, we thought we were pretty stylin'.  Today my 41 year old self has to agree.  :)