It’s my 40th birthday!
This year marks a milestone birthday for me as I celebrate four decades on planet Earth. I’ve contemplated my arrival to the Land of Forties over the last several months. Sure, it’s not a physical place (well, at least that I know of; I’m a newbie here). But it is a state of mind.
I’ve spoken with several who’ve entered this land before me. I hear that the body may not function like it did at its peak, but that other riches await. The LOFers say that it’s a decade of reaping the harvest of career investments, relational investments and personal investments. I read between the lines of their monologues: You’re more confident, care less what others think of you and more about what you think of yourself.
I see it as a time to raise my kids to be kind humans and responsible citizens. A time to cherish loved ones who may not be with us much longer. A time to work with good-hearted people who I can mentor in their lives and careers. A time to share my knowledge and passion for living in the present moment. A time to write and travel. A time to hold my spouse a little closer. A time to be true to myself and my calling.
What does all this have to do with mindfulness? I’m at a threshold. It’s exciting, rewarding, still alive with uncertainty as always. And I’m here for it.
Mindfulness helps me be here for all of it: the joy of connecting, winning, loving. The pain of losing, grieving, changing. It supports my desire to be fully alive.
Now more than ever, I know what a gift it is to be alive. We’ve lost fathers, grandparents, friends and the children of friends. Being present and teaching present living is my gift back to the world, and how I honor the people who have held me with much love for forty blessed years, some of whom reside in the Great Beyond.
As I blow out four rows of 10 candles (good thing I’ve been working on my breathing!) I will think of you, my dear community of mindful living seekers—wishing us a mindful future. Life is a treasure–let’s show up for it every day.
BONUS: A POEM!
I wrote a poem titled “Of a Certain Age”, a thoughtful reflection and celebration of the second act of life. I hope you enjoy it. If it makes you smile or laugh, please let me know!
Women of a certain age can laugh when the moment is ripe.
In fact, they can marvel at the ripeness of their own fruit.
Take the birthday card my aunt gave my mom. It sang “Do your boobs hang low” to the tune of “Do your ears hang low.”
That’s the joy of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age filter garbage from their lives.
They throw out cheating spouses, hateful coworkers and ill-intentioned family.
Consider this pungent line that sums it up: I refuse to allow your heinous halitosis to haunt my hollows.
That’s the boundary of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age become oracles.
Have you spoken behind their backs? Have you undermined their progress? Have you broken your word?
You needn’t worry about telling them, darling. They know.
That’s the magic of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age know what they want.
What they want brings them deep pleasure. It channels their purpose.
If their trans-Atlantic quest with a third husband make you squirm like a squid out of the sea, that’s perfectly OK.
That’s the focus of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age transform into the most intelligent cheerleaders.
When an opportunity has your name all over it, they chant your name and wave their pom-pom hands.
They take you out for wine when you land a big account. They share your good news like it’s The Good News.
That’s the support of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age know the comfort of their own skin.
They wear clothing that sends their vibrant vibes—beach babe, Red Hat hottie or boho beautiful.
They don’t need to ask if they look good. They know.
That’s the confidence of women of a certain age.
Women of a certain age may have eyes everywhere (see also: oracle), yet they only have one face.
What they say, they believe. And what they believe, they say.
If you want to know what they think, just ask. If you dare.
That’s the audacity of women of a certain age.