This is 40: Celebrating Who I’ve Become

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turning 40

I turn 40 today. Yes, 40. I’ve been thinking about my landmark birthday since last fall when I commented on it in my parent milestone article. I’ve been reminiscing about my life over the last ten years, especially when that #10yearchallenge on Facebook came out. How much has life changed my appearance in the last ten years? I pulled up photos from the 30-year-old me and compared them with those of my current self. Truthfully, life added a few fine lines around my eyes, but I still look like me (albeit with more hair now). In previous posts, I have celebrated and honored our mothers and fathers with poems. Today, I celebrate all the wonderful facets of my life at 40.

This is 40.

Up before sunrise on Saturdays with my daughter Ilse by my side. She smiles and coaxes me out of my slumber. I grind the beans for coffee, the hubs does laundry. Our weekends start early.

This is 40.

Always planning my life 90 to 180 days out, but protecting my Sundays for family time and church because faith keeps me steady. Sundays are meant to be lazy.

This is 40.

Traveling more for work and for fun. Bookmarking restaurants and attractions for future visits with my family. Soaking in the air of new cities. Making summer memories.

This is 40.

Being part of multiple friend communities: my writers’ group, my parent group at my daughter’s school, my work friends, my inner circle of friends. They are my sanity.

This is 40.

Constantly reading and learning to keep the brain sharp. Proud of my increased creativity. Boredom is my enemy.

This is 40.

Trying to be a better daughter, sister, niece, and aunt. Focusing more on listening and showing empathy versus problem-fixing. Cherishing daily banter and get-togethers.

This is 40.

Diets be damned. Moderation is my friend. Being active where I can. Keep walking. Keep moving. It’s okay to nurse that Basil Hayden through dinner, and maybe have a second. So long as tomorrow, I am not hungover. That’s what my 20s were for!

This is 40.

Foregoing dressing in black to disguise the back fat, the side boob fat, and the tummy roll. Flaunting my figure in bright, happy colors, like red, cobalt blue, and emerald green. Confidence rules.

This is 40.

Self-care every day. Teeth care. Hydration and moisturization of the body. Getting made up for me and demonstrating body positivity, so that Ilse can do the same.

This is 40.

Experiencing it all with him beside me. Nearly twenty years strong. The jokes never get old. The memories continue to grow.

This is 40.

Blessed and thankful for all that was, is now, and will be. Having the wisdom that can only be acquired by age. Laughing every day. Enjoying all the small things.

This is 40, and life is quite extraordinary.

 

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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