Birthday Musings

It’s my birthday today!

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Round birthdays are fun, but the year after always feels a bit weird. I’d rather stay at 40 than become ‘early forties’.

My fortieth year was fabulous though. I didn’t really have a theme, but I feel a sense of opening. I trust more, I embrace more, I try more, I dare more.

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In return, life embraces me and has glowed with hope and joy. I’ve deepened friendships and turned into a social butterfly.

I pulled a card the other day that said “You are enough. … There are no missing pieces.” And that rings quite true. I feel a sense of completeness, of falling into place.

YouAreEnough

I am truly settling into my home with the flurry of home improvement projects this summer. It represents an investment in myself that I deemed frivolous before.

Being worth it, truly acknowledging my worthiness as I am (right now without changes) has been a challenge. This era of Self-Improvement creates a sense of constant striving, rather than taking time to just BE. It is OK to float for a bit after mastering a challenge rather than immediately saying “Alright, I conquered that, what’s next?”

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I’ve had moments where I felt I was wasting my time, that I should be doing more, that I wasn’t fully living out the life I was meant to lead. There seemed to be an abundance of things I could be doing hat I wasn’t.

Yet at the same time opportunities presented themselves that I carefully evaluated, and I challenged myself into accepting things I was afraid of or didn’t feel ready for.

AgingBooks

I culled some naysayers out of my life which has freed me up for more affirmative uses of my time. I wallowed for a bit initially, because there is grief attached to the loss of any kind of relationship.

Proper grieving is something American culture struggles with. The National Day of Mourning in the Netherlands was a poignant remembrance of how desensitizing daily deadlines of death and violence can become.

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Adding exercise back into my life provided a lovely circle of encouragement and fellowship I didn’t anticipate.

Committing to me turned out to be wonderful. Self-care isn’t selfish. We have to nurture ourselves in order to be able to give to others, but it seems easier to focus on everyone else first.

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I may not have accomplished the monetary goals I had hoped for this past year, but progress has been made, lessons have been learned, and systems have been tweaked to garner more visibility and work out a steady growth plan. The past month has opened up opportunities that will enable me to keep pushing toward my goals.

BoldPlansBigDreams

On the love front, I am not as wistful as I was last year. I do have loads of love in my life, even if romance was elusive. Turning 40 is confrontational on the hopes-of-having-kids end (biologically at least), but I am embracing the freedom this gives me to do what I want when I want, rather than wishing to turn back time.

The past few months have been so full that I am in an eagerly anticipatory giddy state, rather than a frustrated one. I joked with my friends last week that an imaginary partner is just perfect. Being available is full of opportunity and hope. Anybody could be that guy!

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So bring on 41. Let’s see what happens next.

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