40 Looming

40

I’m excited to turn 40.

Not something you hear a lot, I don’t think, at least not honestly…but I mean it. I mean, sure, it didn’t just happen. I was very upset a few weeks ago. Perhaps I will be again when the day comes (May the 8th, if you want to send me a card with money). But this morning? I had a vision of my future, and it looks so good.

For one thing, I am not really worried about what anyone else thinks about my life anymore. Do you know how fucking exciting that is? All of the energy I dumped into making my life appear the way I thought other people needed it to look- that is exhausting. I think, the day I decided to check myself back into treatment without a whole lot of conversation with anyone about what I was doing, or why, I kind of took my power back. I don’t need anyone to understand. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about the fact that I still struggle with addiction issues “at this age”. This is my story, my life, and it just is this way. I am handling it. If I need support, I know where to go for it, but I no longer need the approval of the masses to feel okay with where I am.

And as much as I can be okay with however anyone feels about anything I do, the best part is- it no longer has to affect the way I feel about who you are. Let me give you an example- there is someone I love a lot who absolutely disapproves of my inability to hold my shit together. They don’t always say it directly (although they do at times), but it is definitely out there, clear as a bell. In the past, this persons judgement and opinion of me would predetermine how I felt about them. But that is not true today. Today, I can love anyone completely separately from their opinion of me. This is incredibly liberating. I feel as though I have arrived somewhere I didn’t even know existed before.

Another thing? Forty does not feel old at all. Like, at twenty, forty seemed just hopeless, didn’t it? I thought it would be so different than it is! I feel pretty amazing, actually. My health is perfect (thank you, God), my wrinkles are minimal, my body, while a little, um…sturdier than it was at thirty, is still holding up just fine. At forty, you can be just as beautiful as ever, with not nearly the amount of effort you may imagine.

While we are talking about beauty, lets go a little deeper- Do you know what I think is beautiful? The way I have learned the value of family, and of my girl friends. I think it is beautiful that the idea of a fairy tale romance has faded, but the idea of being with a man that I can be great friends with, that I can laugh with, is front and center. It is beautiful, the things that have lost their power over me, and the things that have revealed themselves to be greatly important. I am so okay with this. It is beautiful to look at someone and see beyond the exterior- I am now at an age where I can look at someone older and see the person inside, and this changes a lot for me. Perhaps I was more shallow than I ever dreamed I was before, but whatever. I can’t change the past. I can, however, be excited about who I am becoming.

Someone who can laugh at herself. Someone who catches herself when she is behaving in a way that is not okay, and corrects it. A person who is interested in everything, most of all, what you have to say when you are talking to me. I am learning how to really listen. I am learning the true value of kindness, period. That the only thing that really matters, in the end, is love and compassion. Not my opinion about anything. Just love, just compassion.

When I look ahead, I see lots of nature. I want to spend more time outside, doing everything. I want to see new places, and I will. I see a woman who is embracing life, and all of her many, many blessings. Yeah…I think forty is going to be great.

Have a great day!

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7 thoughts on “40 Looming

  1. I think the greatest gifts we can give ourselves are:
    1. Self Compassion – We really really need to be as loving and caring for ourselves when we fail as we would be for our closest and dearest friend.
    2. Self Acceptance – As you describe, when we can finally accept ourselves the way we are and not as the way we think others would like us to be, we reach a moment of personal liberation
    3. Self Support – I’m not sure why we always have to search outside for comfort, support and approval. This is the one I’m still working on, but when we can reach inside and not depend on others, then I think we have really cut the mustard.

    Have a wonderful birthday, at 53 I’m beginning to feel younger and younger every day! 40 is soooo young πŸ™‚

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  2. I’ve told you this before: My 40’s were my best years! With us being almost exactly 20 years apart, I am eyeing 60 and while the number is daunting, I wouldn’t go back a day. Life is a process… that never changes. I know I am “the one” who you think disapproves, but frankly, I wasn’t a model of perfection at 40 either. Nor am I at “59 almost 60” – but I can tell you that the gratefulness meter gets a good workout every day – I’m better at living in the moment – I’m better at knowing myself and what I need to be truly happy. I am more centered, more spiritual, calmer. I can’t wait to see you for your birthday. I love the woman you’ve grown up to be!! Beautifully written!

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  3. What a beautiful post Courtney. I’m thinking you should copy this blog and read it every morning
    I’m so touched by this and as usual, I don’t even know why. I do know that I am so happy for you and I feel so good about your future you are creating. Love and hugs to you.

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