Facing Down 40

Today is a rather momentous day – it is my 40th birthday.
Man, I can remember when teenager me thought 40 seemed like , SO old – like, your life is over by then. 😉
20 year old me thought 40 is so far away, I can’t even imagine being that old. I’ve got so much time until I have to be a real grownup !
30 year old me thought 40 was peeking it’s head way in the distance, and surely by then I’d have my sh*t figured out and would have “arrived”.
40 year old me looks at each of those and shakes her head ; 40 isn’t anything like I thought.
Somewhere in my childhood and younger days, I got this idea that at 40 you somehow had things all figured out. You had your spouse, your kids, your home, your job, and you were a paragon of confidence, stability and accomplishment. ( snorts loudly )

Yeah, not so much. I mean, I do have those things in my life – it’s just so much messier and more confusing than I’d hoped, lol. I have an almost 22 year marriage and still like my husband, though on occasion I consider smothering him with a pillow when he snores . 😉 I have 4 kids whom I love so freaking much, and are challenging and incredibly frustrating at times. I owned a home from age 21 to 39, and am glad to now be rid of the mortgage – even if I’m considered homeless by my government. 😉

As for a job – that one’s a whole other level of confusing. Over the course of the last 5 years I became what I jokingly call an Accidental Entrepreneur. I was introduced to a product I loved and couldn’t stop sharing with friends. When I needed something to use with it that I couldn’t find online, I went ahead and created something to meet my need. Turned out, other people wanted it too. Having no clue what I was doing, I started an Etsy shop. (Many, many cringe worthy efforts happened here.)  I learned all the things, took some decent photos, built a website, designed cards and brochures, created spreadsheets and pricing guides, hired people to do the stuff I couldn’t, drove and flew all sorts of places on my own, and sold tens of thousands of dollars of product. Me, the mom of 4 kids with a GED, who used to be afraid to drive in the city next to my little hometown. I learned by doing it that I didn’t want to be in the retail hustle lifestyle.

My accidental entrepreneurship pushed me to do all sorts of uncomfortable things – and for that, I am so thankful. It showed me that I was far more capable, creative, and competent than I had been led to believe by some not-so-great people in my young life . It showed me I really could do whatever I wanted – and opened the door to an unexpected existential dilemma.
                                          “ What is my purpose ?? “

And that, my dear readers, is what I have been living in for the last year and a half. In my younger days, I never slowed down enough to ponder this question. ( I mean, come on, who does when they’re young ?? ) I was too busy having fun staying up late for midnight movie releases with my husband and eating fries at Denny’s. Then it was trying to figure out motherhood and parenting in a haze of sleep deprivation, playdates, school choices and challenges.

Today, I turn 40 – and instead of having life all figured out, my goal is to have myself figured out. To understand and work toward healing my hurts and traumas, to grow and become a more honest, authentic version of myself, and to serve others and offer something of value to the world. At 40, I understand that this is just the beginning, not the finish line.

Wishing you authentic purpose and joy today –

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