I've got five hours left in my 30's. In five hours I will turn 40. Forty. I have spent the past year saying it doesn't bother me, that it's just a number, that I'm ready...and I'm fairly certain I believed every bit of that. Until the past few days. As the days leading up to the 25th have ticked by, I find myself more and more overwhelmed with the realization the youth of my life has passed...and then, thinking through what I've done up to this point, but particularly over the past decade...and, finally about everything I haven't done. And last night I laid awake thinking through those things once more and felt my chest tighten and the hot sting of tears as the beginning of a panic attach set in.
It's a number, I know that. One I am thankful to hit. Yet, as I look around and take stock of everything, I know there are phases of my life that are definitively over. I fear I have wasted precious time, taken advantage of years I can never get back, spent too much time overthinking the unimportant while not giving nearly enough thought to what truly
matters. My Pop-Pop lived to be 80 - the youngest age of any of my grandparents - and when he turned 80, he said that if a man lives to be that age then they have lived a good, long life. Given how very quickly these past 20 (I say 20 because the first 20 didn't seem to go by nearly as fast) years have flown by, I'm certain I will wake up one morning thinking of this moment and wondering how on earth 40 more years disappeared.
I know, life is what happens when we are busy trying to live. It's the little moments, the everyday things, that build upon one another creating the years that ultimately become one's story. It's the people and the memories that shape the hours that turn into days. It's up to us to live the ones we're given fully and without regret.
So, back to the end of my 30's...I mean, what is there to say? If you've read this for long you've been along for the ride. Sure there are many details I've left out, and others I've only glanced over. These past ten years have held the most difficult and painful moments of my life...I have come face-to-face with my demons and haven't always won...and I have lived, truly and honestly lived. I've seen parts of the world I had only dreamed about, and searched desperately for myself within the four walls of my little home. I have buried two souls who impacted my life and shaped me in ways I still struggle to define. I've learned the importance of a moment and the harsh reality of time. I've laughed, God have I laughed. I got drunk for the very first time (yes...the very first time), but definitely not the last. I got a tattoo at a time when I was old enough to know exactly what I was doing and love it still to this day. I mourned a dear friend and rediscovered the value of real, true, life-long friendships...you know, those you really "do" life with...and made finding time for people my top priority. I fell. Hard. But I landed, and in that landing found my independence. I danced it out and I cried it out and I learned that both have equal value in certain moments. I am navigating life with a teenage daughter who is better than anything I deserve. I have loved and I've been loved and right now find myself thankful for every step in that process. It has been through both that I have learned humility and just how much I need to work on communication. I want to do so much more, to BE so much more. Yet...I've sat by and done nothing about either. So here's to the next 40. My body may age and my mind may get fuzzy, but I pray that God continues putting me where He wants me and gives me the willingness to see what He has in store for me.
Gran loved a sunrise. For me it's the sunsets. To see the day end...to watch all of the chaos and disarray finally come to rest...and to do so beautifully. I've always loved that no matter how cloudy or stormy the day has been, there is always a sunset...and, it's often on those stormy days that we see the most breathtaking ones. I'm certain there's something to that. Tonight, as I wrap up this chapter, I wanted nothing more than to just sit and watch the sun go down. It wasn't spectacular, but it was still something to be seen. A quiet ending for these final hours before the page turns on another year, another decade...and I'm okay with today ending like this. I think it's fitting after the past several years...and I'm hopeful for what comes next. #BringItForty