Reflections of Forty
It’s about a month since I turned forty.
I had to give it a little while to see if the milestone would actually sink in. Honestly, it hasn't. I don’t feel any different than I did a little over a month ago or six months for that matter. I guess the old saying about being as young as you feel is true. I sometimes catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and am surprised not to see a 20 year old college girl.
Yes, the grey hairs are slowly losing the battle with the brown and little creases in my face when I smile seem to have set up a permanent home there no matter my expression, but it’s all good. I mean I rivaled my six year old when playing like a child on my birthday getaway to Universal Studios. If I can be just as exhilarated as he was on the Despicable Me ride and just as amazed by doing pretend magic with a Harry Potter wand, then I guess age really can be just a number. It doesn’t matter if that number can’t be counted on my hands and feet any more without using a multiplier.
The week of my birthday I took a drive out to the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Ma. If you haven’t been there it’s really worth checking out, http://newenglandpeacepagoda.org/. I didn’t plan the drive, but it was an item on my 40 by Forty list that I hadn't gotten too and it just worked out that after dropping my little guy off at school I had an hour to kill before an appointment. So, I took advantage of the beautiful, sunny, crisp, autumn day and sat in silent serenity.
I found myself reflecting on the list of things I accomplished in my 39th year.
How much joy and happiness most of them had brought not only into my life during that time, but my family as well. I remembered little trips we took, walks or bike rides we went on together and it reminded me that it shouldn’t take a birthday milestone to make sure to carve out special time for myself and my family.
There are a few things on the list that I didn’t get to or wasn’t able to attain and that’s okay. I’ve made peace with them. I’ll figure out why their importance waned in a year’s time and if they’re even something I want anymore. Maybe I’ll replace them with new challenges.
In any event, I sat there in Leverett, surrounded by nature thinking of how quickly time goes by and how it really felt like yesterday that I had begun my year long journey and 40 by Forty List. I’m so grateful for my life and everything that brought me to where I am today. Four decades is a good amount of living and I’ve certainly changed many times during that period.
Gratitude became the theme of my meditation at the Peace Pagoda that day. It’s something I feel I’ll carry with me during this upcoming year. Knowing many adventures still lie ahead and many life changes surely will come.