Friday, September 12, 2014

Forty Things

I'm forty today.  Interestingly, it's a day I've been looking forward to.   My twenties weren't great.  My thirties had some rough patches, but they were better.  If the pattern holds, I know that the forties will be even sweeter.  In honor of my forty years, here are forty random thoughts about life as I know it, who I am now, how I've changed, and other somewhat useless drivel.

1.  I got asked in my MFT class last night which of the roles that I play I am most proud of.  I didn't have to hesitate for a second.  Being a mom.  No question.  It's been the hardest job in the world, but the one that makes me most grateful.  I'm not great at it.  I mess up a lot.  I make people cry sometimes.  But I know that they know I love them.  I'm also pretty good at saying "I'm sorry".    If you can do those two things, you're probably doing OK.

2.  I'm more content with mess than I've ever been.  Some people might think that's not a good thing!

3.  I'm getting better at saying "no" without explanation.

4.  I swear like a sailor.  I'm not proud of it, but neither am I ashamed of it.  It's just more of me I've come to say "yes" to.

5.  I will never belong to a church or organization that values me less than others because I am female.

6.  I like staying home a lot.  I used to want to spend my evenings and weekends out and about.  Now I just want to be home.

7.  When I turned 30 I was pregnant with Sasha.  I'm glad I'm not pregnant with anyone today.  I like our trio just the way it is.

8.  I've grown comfortable with having a raw and  disheveled appearance in public.  Make up is often over-rated.  I don't necessarily want to run into everyone I know while raw and disheveled and out in public, but I'll happily pick up my kids at school.

9.  I wasn't remotely sporty as a kid, but I love watching my girls play sports.  I stand up and scream and yell and may even be considered obnoxious at times.  I didn't see that coming.

10.  Don't expect what's not realistic.  Half of the hard days in my life are because I didn't follow this mantra.

11.  I fall asleep almost the second my head hits the pillow at night.  There is almost nothing I love more than a glorious nap in the middle of the day.  Sleep is beautiful.  There have been times in my life I've used sleep as a way to cope or escape.  I still fall back into that sometimes.

12.  I didn't think I'd be forty and part of an Anglican church.

13.  A few years ago I never thought I'd be part of any church again.

14.  I am most relaxed and at peace when no one has expectations of me.

15.  I know I've mentioned this a million times, but my life's favorite book is Anne Lamott's Travelling Mercies.  I go back to it all the time.  That book kept me afloat when little else could have.

16.  I wouldn't go back to my twenties for a million dollars.  I finally have a lot of compassion for my twenty year old self.

17.  My two favorite gelato flavours are pistachio and coconut.  Having them together is a match made in heaven.

18.  Getting rid of things energizes me.  When I fill a bag up to donate and can lift it out of my car, I feel 20 pounds lighter.

19.  I miss living in Vancouver.  I miss our friends.  I miss the abundance of spectacular beauty.  I miss the simple life we were able to lead.  I don't get to talk to those friends often, but I hold them so close.

20.  My closest friends from elementary and high school are still close to me.  I think this is a great and miraculous treasure.  In fact, to celebrate our fortieth birthdays,  I'm meeting 3 of them in Las Vegas for a wild weekend in October.  I've been dreaming of this trip for years and I could care less where we're going, as long as we're together.

21.  I still don't really feel like an adult.  I waste a lot of time on frivolous things and don't often keep up with the "work" real adults do.

22.  One of my favorite things to do in the morning is go into Sasha and Ellie's bedroom to wake them up.  I always go in ten minutes before the have to get up for the day and I crawl under the covers with Sasha on the bottom bunk.  I snuggle right into her and breath in the smell of her neck and savour the warmth and slow breaths of her body.

23.  I  secretly wish just one of the Dugger children would rebel.

24.  Does number 23 "out me" as someone who occasionally watches "19 Kids and Counting"?  Damn.

25.  I see the sacred all around me in ways I never used to.

26.  I'm glad I married someone who cries during episodes of Little House on the Prairie and Derek.

27.  I say weekly that if Mike ever dies while our girls are still in school, they're screwed.  I can't even help Ellie with grade 6 Math.

28.  The older I get, the less time and tolerance I have for people who aren't interested in anything but their own stories.

29.  There are very few people who know me well enough,  to stop my  unending questions and make me talk about me.  There are then even fewer people who I trust enough to tell the gritty parts of my story.

30.  I like lemon more than chocolate.

31.  I can't believe some of our friend's kids are grown ups.

32.  I hope our girls chase their dreams instead of being hung up on what's practical.

33.  I hope I have the sense to help them do that.

34.  I will never be an e-book reader.  I love holding real books in my hands.  I think books are a little bit like trophies.  Part of what I like about going to other people's houses is seeing the type of books they have out and about in their home.  It tells me a lot about them.  I'm probably definitely a bit of a book snob.

35.  I spent my 40th birthday evening with my family doing  what we always do, and what I love best... eating pizza and watching a movie.  I love tradition.

36.  Mike should be grateful I'm so low-maintenance.

37.  I think forty sounds a lot younger than it did when I was a kid.

38.  I'm getting better at being mindful and compartmentalizing what I'm feeling.

39.  I base my prayers on Anne Lamott's book Help, Thanks, Wow.  Really, what more is there to say?

40.  I'd really like a "pause" button, because this is a pretty sweet spot in life.

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