Happy Birthday: Being Lucky in Love

I woke up this morning officially another year older, hopefully wiser and definitely grateful. The week-long build-up to today has made me feel so loved and appreciated it is beyond words. I started off believing that this was not a year to celebrate. That because personally, it was a “difficult year” and things were “challenging” I wanted to let this occasion pass silently, swiftly and simply ignore it.
Instead here is what happened:

  • My husband showed me that he knows who I am and what is important to me.
  • He gave me a week-long birthday celebration that included relaxing at the beach, going to the theater, time enjoying my beloved city and special one-on-one experiences for me to share with our children.
  • Finally, he invited a few friends and family over for cake (red velvet, my favorite)

In essence, he ignored my protest to do nothing, but knew what *somethings* would bring joy and meaningfully mark the beginning of this new decade. My cup runs over and over and over.

Two years ago I wrote a post called My Take on Turning Thirty-Eight (for my 38th birthday), and, considering the circumstances, it just feels appropriate to update now and slightly evolve.

So, without further ado, what turning 40 means to me now.

40 is…
– Knowing I am loved beyond reason and accepted without question
– Understanding this should not be abused or neglected
– Taking advantage of every opportunity to celebrate
– Accepting that I enjoy a book in bed more than a late night out
– Not giving up my 3-inch heels
– Spending more on moisturizer and eye-cream (even if it’s all BS, it feels like it’s doing something)
– Understanding what I should and shouldn’t apologize for (and usually doing it)
– Ignoring those “how to please your partner” articles/blog posts, (because I don’t need them)
– Having the vocabulary to ask for what I want/have earned/need help with (and usually doing it)
– Owning at least one pair of rocking shoes and one fabulous bag–both purchased (and paid for) by me
– No longer having “the baby weight”
– Knowing that I will make mistakes/mess stuff up/lose it/feel like a failure/want to run away to the Caribbean to sell fish tacos/ but also know from experience that it is temporary and will pass
– Finally enjoying what the last 15-20 years of “paying your dues” at work can bring
– Having the pangs of never again breast feeding, smelling your newborns sweet breath and soft head quelled by the fact that 4am feedings, diaper changing and potty training is also over
– Enjoying time with the kids doing things you both want to do at reasonable hours
– Being predictable, but not quite set in my ways
– Refusing to give up wearing a bikini, short shorts, skirts that show off my legs, form-fitting dresses and skinny jeans
– Having colored my hair for so long, I honestly can’t tell you if I have any grey which means I can honestly say I’m not yet grey

– Not just feeling like I am the most fortunate woman in the world, knowing it without question.
I may not have had the *luckiest* or simplest year and there are certainly things I wish I could have changed, but what is absolutely irrefutable is that I have love in my life–great love. Imperfect, committed, beautiful, passionate, messy, joyful, love. Love that makes it possible for all of us to not only survive but thrive during a year like this. And for that I am deeply fortunate and eternally grateful.
I love you J, and M and S.  You make me stronger, you make me smarter, you make me bolder, braver. If twelve months ago I wrote down how much love and pride I would have for each and all of you I would have short-changed us.  It is beyond explanation.  That is the only gift I need.
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