When you turned 10, you convinced your parents that having the entire class of 4th grade girls for a sleepover would be a great idea. A basketball game, candy, Long John donuts in the morning along with so many presents made turning a new decade one of your favorite childhood memories.
When you turned 20, you were in the midst of college. Finally settled on a degree, you had a special friend who’d end up as your husband. 20 was about finally feeling a bit more at home in this strange world called USA.
When you turned 30, you had been married for a while. America FINALLY felt like home. You drove the SUV, went to the gym and carted kids around to sports and Kindermusik. Your 30s were filled with routine, childhood memories with your kids and a major move to Florida and back to Colorado. Thirty was the first birthday that made you feel like an adult. Finally grown up with two kids (little did you know a little pumpkin was headed your way soon from Ethiopia), you’d settle into yourself and your life.
When you turned 40, life was less predictable. Parenting had become challenging. There was great discomfort in your work and community. The predictability of your 30s had given way to a lot of internal pain and grief. You mourned the loss of your beloved grandfather as well as the growing pains of adulting. Your first few years of this new decade took on a new normal; therapy, job searching and travel; lots and lots of travel.
Here you are at 45. Halfway, some would say, through life. As you sit and reflect on this day, I have a couple of things to tell you.
Please know the journey you’ve been on towards self love is worth every bit of angst and sacrifice. Keep reading, listening, talking, and exploring this amazing world that Your Creator made for you. Learn from all people; don’t limit yourself to one perspective and view. Listen to other’s stories and remind yourself that you are worthy of all they share.
Don’t stop thinking about the next thing. Keep adding to that list of “maybe I’ll….” It’s not too late to go back to school. It’s not too late to become involved in your community’s issues. Get the yoga certification. Tackle the blog you’ve wanted to really write. Hike the mountains you’ve thought might take too long. Plan the camping trips for the family. Learn the new coding you need to be marketable. Keep the list and check them off, one by one. Do the things.
Remember that simple and slow can be better than fast and busy. Don’t be afraid to take pockets of time to sip tea and read the entire book from cover to cover. Let the dust pile up, figuratively and physically, every so often. Leave the dishes in the sink and the pile of dirt in the yard. People matter. Eye contact works. Smiling while running or holding the chair pose makes a difference.
Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep diving into the why behind the what. Don’t be afraid to tackle the awkward. Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Let your words reflect your heartbeat. Say to yourself, “I’m sorry” more and “You’re not quite good enough” less. Speak out for those who cannot. Remember you can have more than one opinion about one thing.
Worry less. Fear less. Run more. Balance more. Steep in the goodness of the one life you have been given. Bask in the radiance of this world you’ve been handed. Above all, say to yourself each day “I am enough.”
Here’s to the next 5 years of this fourth decade of living.