I enjoyed my 30's. I grew, matured, lived life and saw dreams come true.
My sister spent her 30's having babies, raising toddlers and gaining weight. She has been telling us for the past few years that her 40's are going to be her decade to pull it all together. I thought that sounded exciting and was looking forward to further growth in this next decade.
I started my 40's feeling pretty good. Well, I ended my 30's feeling pretty good. I did a triathlon a few months before my birthday thinking it would launch me into my 40's on a positive, you can do anything, note. Yet somehow so far the 40's have not exactly been all I dreamed they would be.
6 months after my birthday I found my entire life tossed up like a salad. With John back in school and me back working a low paying, dead end job it seems more like returning to our 20's than moving towards further maturity and adventure.
And my body is not all about this aging either. At first I just had one whiskerish hair that would occasionally grow on my chin. It was a charming mark of age I was ready to embrace. It could be easily plucked when it appeared but now they seem to be multiplying! My once smooth, lovely back is now covered in age spots and, gasp, acne. And my emotions are a crazy roller coaster ride that I have a suspicion will end with me killing someone. I am also pretty sure that, as my hair color is a few weeks over due for a refresher, I am seeing gray hairs glisten in the bathroom mirror. And while I can still see perfectly, let's face it, I am on a rapid downhill slide toward cheaters and cataract.
It is all about attitude. And I need to change mine!
While I would never want to actually re-live my 20's, I have often thought about how much better it would be if I had the wisdom of age while going through it. Opportunity! I AM re-living my 20's in some ways, supporting my husband while he is in school, with the maturity and wisdom of the 40's. I don't have the kind of free time I had at 20 but I know better how to use the time I do have. I don't have to waste my time feeling discontent, wishing for something to change, hanging out with people who don't value me. I have developed a solid friendship circle, I know what I want, I know what I need to do to get it and I have seen success in my life enough to believe I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
With John in school my 40's are going to be about career building. Not job having. Not simply working to work but, building a Career. My career. These will be my working years but I am going to work on my own terms and my potential is only limited by ME. John will be in school for the next several years learning a new set of skills for the next stage of his career. But, the past 17 years I have been learning the skills I need to begin my own career.
New attitude about the 40's: I can do anything!
Year 1 (40): the plan.
Year 2 (41): the reorganization
Year 3 (42): let the games begin!
I am definitely still in Year 2, I am 7 months away from my birthday. But it was a year ago this month that I was in Florida helping my mom get ready to pack up and leave her winter home for Minnesota. And it was the 4 days in the car driving home that I was able to really think about our life and where we were going. And I hatched this crazy plan for John to go back to school and me to go back to work full time. A year later we have totally re-organized our life, we have a vision for where we are going and how we will get there. With the distractions of the life I lived as a stay-at-home mom gone I am ready for the next stage of this career building decade.
20 years ago we couldn't have done it. This is the life and the choices of 2 people who know themselves, know what they want and know how to get it. And those are things you don't have in your 20's.
Lest we forget and think I can do this on my own:
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength" Phil 4:13
I read that verse when I was baptized at 18. I could not have imagined the life I would go forward to lead but, I knew then, as now, that as long as God was by my side I could do anything He asked me to.