Royal Blue

Thoughts of a writer, wife, mother, PhD, sister, crafty chick, program coordinator, homeowner, culture vulture, bibliophile, and blogger.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Turning the Big 4-0

I'm turning 40 this week. I'm just trying to get used to that. Like a new haircut, it's going to take a while before it feels like "me." I'm 40. It just sounds so....grown up.

I feel like this is my "life is not a dress rehearsal" decade. The decade to really decide "this is what I want to do with my life."

Ten years ago this weekend I sat in my Aunt Molly's kitchen. We were celebrating my 30th birthday that weekend. I remember sitting in the kitchen chair saying, "I want to have a baby by age 35, even if that means I have a baby on my own."

I had very definite ideas about my 30's--baby, marriage, finish my Phd, get a job, buy a house.

And, 10 years later, I have met all of those life goals (new baby and house and job happened twice!). These were deeply personal and important goals to me and I'm really proud that I was able to reach them.

They may seem mundane to some people, but to me, they have been what my life has been about. What my life is right now and I'm really happy with it.

Of course, there's always the wanting more (earn more money), to have less (clutter and less weight around my post-baby abs), to have something different, the grass is always greener, etc.

But, all in all, I"m pretty happy with my life. I feel good about the life Ed and I have created with our kids and our lovely family and friends. We live in a community that is important to us and that we contribute to and feel proud to be part of.

So, 40. 40. What do I want to do with the next 10 years? I've started a list. No joke, here's my rought draft:

1) Move to Louisville to be closer to my family; find wonderful jobs for me and Ed there.

2) Finally, finally, lose the last 8 lbs that have been haunting me. It is not about vanity--it's about being healthy. I am just a little bit above the maximum weight for my height. True, I gained and lost 50 pounds with both of my pregnancies and people really admire me for losing the baby weight both times, but I want to be healthier. I want to live to an old age to see my grandkids.

3) Get my regular writing gig in place. Will I write a book? A semi-regular newspaper column? A bunch of articles? I did great in my 30's by publishing newspaper columns, magazine and anthology articles, book reviews, etc. but I want to be more focused and "regular" in my writing venue.

4) Take my husband to Europe on vacation. He's never been.

5) Enjoy ushering my kids through elementary school and middle school and watching them grow up into themselves. In 10 years, Molly will be 15. Sean will be almost 13. Hormones will be raging. My mom says enjoy the elementary school years as much as possible! They are the most fun years of child raising! I plan to. Brownies and boy scouts? Soccer and gymnastics? Who knows what is in store for us....

6) Secure a career I love and can grow into. I'm on the right track right now...

7) Continue to make my friends and family a priority in my life. In the blessings of my life, my family and friends are the jewel in the crown. I feel so blessed.

8) Continue to give back to the world and our community and begin to find ways to do this as a family. As the kids get older, this will become more and more possible and enjoyable.

9) Remember to have fun. Even if it's just sitting in front of the fireplace with my husband on a Saturday night after the kids are in bed, eating yummy food and watching a movie. My weekends don't need to be all about work, too.

10) Make sure we have our retirement savings, will, trust plans for the kids, etc. all in place.


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