Friday, January 24, 2014

On Turning Forty - One year later || Bend Oregon Photographer

I wrote this article 364 days ago, on my actual 40th birthday, a Friday. It is one year later and ironically,  I find myself in the same situation: sitting at home with a sick kiddo and completely content. This was originally published in True North Parenting's website, which is no longer online.

On turning 40 – A rhythm of lessons & experience.

I’m supposed to be on a beach today – a warm, tropical beach, celebrating the passing of 40 years by basking in sandy sunshine with my husband and children. Making epic memories worthy of such a milestone. We moved last summer, and decided to postpone our Maui dreams for a year or two.

So, instead, I’m supposed to be treating myself to goodies like Thai food for lunch, shopping for baubles at my favorite bauble-store, and generally making excuses to do some indulgent shopping with girlfriends, and a valid excuse to postpone folding the laundry.

And now that the big day is here, I’m sitting in my living room, keeping my youngest boy company as he waits out a fever, eating leftovers & watching old Tin-Tin cartoons on Netflix. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As it turns out, I’m supposed to be sitting in my living room, in the house of my dreams, surrounded by my family – and indulging in the luxury of reflection. My reflections quickly turn to my age. Forty. A nice round number, but in my opinion, nowhere near “old.” Not even close.

I’m not sure when the tide has turned when it comes to my perspective on age, but I have decided it is simply a part of growing up. I’ve noticed as I pass through seasons in my life, that I am growing more distinctly aware that life is simply a rhythm of lessons & experience. I’ve been waxing painfully nostalgic over the toddler years of my two boys recently, currently 9 & 10, and feeling the pinch of time. The urgency to soak up moments and embrace the current season, knowing the next one is right around the corner. Babies and toddlers keep catching my eye – and I’m the one looking at these moms with that knowing twinkle: “Remember this, mama – as it shall pass all too soon.”

I can’t help but feel a connection with the mothers I know with high school aged kids – and I recognize that knowing twinkle in their eyes, as they watch me with my two young men. “Remember this, mama – as it shall pass all too soon,” their eyes seem to say. The pattern repeats: from mama’s of collegiates to mamas of newlyweds, to fresh grandma’s and beyond. One of my dear friends is 85 years old and I can see quite clearly that she feels as young as I do, yet she has the gift of an additional 45 years of life experience under her belt.

I’m beginning to understand that I’ll always feel how I feel today, on my 40th birthday, and that age simply allows for a broader perspective on life. The more experiences I enjoy, the more lessons I learn. Life lessons building upon experiences, and experiences shaped by life lessons, the rhythm repeats – like a wave.

Like a wave on a warm, tropical beach.

On Maui. 

Which is where I was supposed to be, on my 40th Birthday. 

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