Today is my forty second birthday. Wow. I sit here and wonder “How am I 42?” Even now, with the responsibilities that say I’m an adult carrying on in the background (laundry, dishwasher) I’m still trying to figure this out. Forty-two.
Where did the past 42 years go?
It was just yesterday I was trying to ride my bike down the hill at my Grandmother’s house, hitting the rut that caused me to go over the handle bars every single time. At 15, I was traipsing around Europe with my friend April, paying homage to Jim Morrison in Paris and listening to a brand new band called Gun’s N Roses.
Wasn’t it just yesterday I logged into a chat room and met a cute boy who wanted to email me and would propose 10 months later. I mean, I just gave birth yesterday, didn’t I?
It’s not that I have anything to complain about. My life is good. I have a loving family and friends, a roof over my head, and can pay my bills. But I’m thinking of what this age is supposed to mean in the general scheme of this thing we call life.
During morning carpool, I was wondering if there would be any deep profound thoughts I could share, or would even want to share. Thoughts that would make you “Yes! She gets it. This woman has wisdom and has learned from her years.” But there is nothing profound. There is only acceptance: I am a forty-two year old woman. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, experienced heartache, loss, and have loved, and been loved, deeper than I ever thought possible.
Maybe it’s because there is so much going on that is fresh and new in my life. We’re building a house, my husband changed careers, The Kid started high school, I started working for global digital marketing agency, and am opening my own agency (with amazing partners), Kült Digital. It’s all so new; I feel like a toddler who’s taking his tentative steps, wobbly, knowing if I land, there will be cushioning. (I also have the rear of a forty-two year old woman, there’s plenty of padding.)
Is that it? Is the secret to forty-two knowing you can take all of this on and things can still be shiny and brand new. Yet this time, if I falter, I know that no matter what’s thrown my way, I’ll still come out a better person on the other side?
I don’t know. What I do know is this lessons I’ve learned. The code I live by, personally.
1. If you work really hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen.
2. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, butt out.
3. It’s not your place sit in judgment. Ever.
4. Life may throw you lemons. Cut them up and toss them in a glass of sweet tea.
5. Sleep is more important than work.
6. Dust bunnies are probably the monsters under your bed.
7. You can’t do it all, but you can keep trying.
8. Don’t give so much of yourself that you have nothing left for you.
9. Make those phone calls you’ve been dreading.
10. The laundry can wait.
11. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you’ll ever do.
That’s it. It’s simple, and pretty much how I live my life. This is forty-two. It’s a number, written in the sand. Grain by grain, it will blow away until it’s gone this time next year.