Today I am 30-10. For those of you not in denial, that’s 40. Since I was using the whole 30-10 thing, my friend gave me a card that said, “Hi, my name is Chris and I’m 40.” On the inside it says: “Admitting it is the first step.” This is the same friend that came to my house at the crack of dawn with an accomplice to decorate my car. Every window had some saying like “40 and still beautiful”, or “30-10 NOT, it’s 40!” or the number “40” plastered here and there. All I have to say is… sweet revenge is mine, my young friends!
Before today, I said all the things you say as you get older: It’s only a number. I am only as old as I feel, which most of the time is about 17. The older the wiser. Like an aged wine, I only get better with time… or something like that. But truth be told, it feels a little weird to be out of my 30s.
Yet I am excited about the possibilities in my life right now, regardless of my age. I still have so much ambition and so many dreams. Forty feels like a starting point of sorts. Like the starting point of my bucket list, although I’m hoping I don’t kick the bucket anytime soon. (The 100 things I want to do before I die list is in the works …inspired by katesaid.wordpress.com).
I feel like my dreams have more clarity now. For instance, this dream has been swirling around in my brain for some time, but I’ve never sat down long enough to put all the pieces together. Until recently. I just knew it had something to do with mentoring teenage girls, outdoor adventure, racial reconciliation and writing. When I finally sat long enough to really flesh it out, it came together. All of those passions rolled into a larger plan for a start-up organization. And right now I am eagerly waiting to see if I have been selected to attend a leadership conference in New York City in June to obtain additional support for this dream. The passions were planted in my heart for a reason. And I want to be faithful to whatever God will have me do with all of it, contest or no contest. This year may not be the right time. Next year may not be the right time. But as long as God keeps opening doors and lighting a fire in my heart, I will keep moving forward, no matter what my age.
So on my birthday – although it is a little freaky to be forty – I am focusing on the incredible gifts I have been given and the passions God has stirred in my heart.
One of the greatest gifts is sitting here with me right now. My husband and I are on a blanket next to the canal, at a local university, having a picnic, painting, writing, reading and talking, and it has filled my soul. I have been surrounded by friends who have written me beautiful cards, treated me to meals, bought sweet gifts and expressed their love to me. My children have made me cards and homemade gifts that I will cherish, and my mom and dad have created an album for me that I will also treasure (although I’m not supposed to know about this yet). I have a great life and I am blessed beyond words. So bring it on, New Decade, because with all this goodness in my life, I am strengthened (and humbled) and ready to see what lies ahead.
P.S. I got the album with amazing photos and letters from my parents. I’ve included a picture of my family, my brother and his family, my friend and my parents out to dinner tonight in Broad Ripple. The end to a perfect day… that is, if the kids would settle down and go to bed!