Three months ago, I turned 39. I usually enjoy my birthday — I’m an age-is-just-a-number kind of gal — but this one was unusually lackluster and understated. A little like how I was feeling. The birthday hit me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Suddenly, I realized I no longer had a buffer. I was staring down the big 4-0. And I didn’t like it.
This is a good time to have friends, especially ones who inspire you to flip your perspective. I have a friend who declared this our “take it back” year: All of us have been so focused on raising kids that we’ve forgotten about ourselves and it was time to turn that around. We were supposed to be setting goals. I was lackadaisical about it — I think because my birthday falls later in the year the whole thing hadn’t quite hit me yet. But now, the clock is ticking. Fast. Turning 39 has made me feel reflective, questioning everything I am and have and know. That’s probably a good thing but, as another friend said so perfectly, it can make you feel a little melancholy.
While I’ve been looking at the coming months as a kind of death march, several friends have embraced this as a wake-up call that time isn’t going to slow down, so we need to make the most of today. Every day. They’re right: The first half of my life is over, now it’s time to kick it up a notch for the second half. My friend has a “40 things before I’m 40” list in the works. I didn’t quite come up with that many (and I only have nine months left!), but thought I’d give it a try. I won’t call it my bucket list (since I’ve abandoned my death march), but it’s just a series of things I want to accomplish to ensure that I’m sailing into my forties feeling happy, healthy, motivated and inspired. My best self. Geesh, now I sound like Oprah. I can’t believe I’m publishing this!
Care to join me in making your own list? And if you have any suggestions for the perfect pair of jeans or where to get great makeup how-tos, please share!
Photo by Pedro Moura Pinheiro via Flickr.