Friday, August 01, 2008

Well that wasn't so bad after all . . .


Two days ago I turned 40. It was looming over me for months (thanks to my baby sister who started asking in January, "What are we going to do for your 40th?" After months of badgering, I finally caved and agreed to a party.

As we got in the car to head to the shin-dig, my stomach was a mess. Literally - I felt sick. I don't have parties, I give parties. I'm not the guest-of-honor, I'm the one planning the thing. This was so out of the norm for me, my nerves were just shot. But it was a lovely evening and I have to say, my parents and sister threw me a lovely party. They all shared memories of me (my sister's memories, not so wonderful as she shared how we used to fight and how mean I was to her - sadly, all true) but they all ended with lovely sentiments of how much they love and appreciate me now. There were embarrassing pictures, embarrassing stories but lots of laughter and fun. Many of my dear friends attended with their kids and it really was a great evening - I had fun and I'm glad I let my sister talk me into it.

I'll admit, I struggled in the days before my birthday. As I approached 40, it really felt like someone was making me a cinder-block necklace to wear. A dusty block of cement that would say to everyone who saw it, "Oh, yes, she used to be the young one, but now look at her. She's 40 now." I saw that cinder-block as a hindrance, something that would slow me down, weigh me down and forever label me as one who had her chance to dance and should now just be happy sitting on the sidelines and watching others have their day.

But now that the day has passed and I can look forward, I think I'll use that cinder-block to stand on. To see further than those younger kids around me. I'll use that better perspective to make decisions that I won't regret. I'll use the weight of that cinder-block to break down walls - ones I've created and ones others use to keep me in my place. I'll thank God for the weight of those years and all of the joy and blessings packed into them. I'll proudly wear the dust of that block in my hair, on my clothes and maybe if the urge hits me, I'll paint that block yellow or bright green or whatever color suits me on that day.

I think I'm ready for my 40's now . . . let me at 'em. Me and my new accessory.

And on the birthday front, today is N.'s 14th! Happy B-day to my baby-girl!

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

It was such an honor to be able to share your birthday with you! And 40 is NOT OLD!! :-) I'm glad you're starting to feel the same way too...and that you're going to use the wisdom you've gained for good...most of the time. :-)

Roadchick said...

Happy Birthday!

Alex S said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIM!!!!!!! PLEASE CALL ME at 503 5604272 so we can celebrate together on 23rd. I hvae been meaning and meaning and meaning to get back in touch with you. Sending you a huge hug and birthday wishes! Call me!

Alex S said...

I'd call YOU but I can't find your number.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Happy birthday Kim! Your 40's are going to kick butt!

Take that block and hurl it through any barriers that try and stop you!

Amber said...

Oh no!! I missed it. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPPY HAPPPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

The world is soooo much better because you are in it, my friend. You are a gift to everyone who knows you.

I hope this year is full of blessings for you. And 40 is the new 20, right??

:)

Jenny said...

Happy birthday!