Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of celebrating my 40th birthday amongst my beloved family and friends. I don’t know why, but I have no problem celebrating anyone else’s birthday, but when it comes to my own, I would much rather pretend like it was just another ordinary day. Could it be that I’m in denial about getting another year older? No, I don’t think so. Is it that my life is not what I imagined it to be by the time I turned 40? No, it’s actually full of more richness than I ever could have imagined. It’s not full of richness in money, but in meaning which is the true fabric of happiness! So why do I not want to celebrate glorious, wonderful me on my birthday? I think it has to do with my perspective. For me, birthdays at this age are more of a time to give thanks rather than be showered with gifts and attention! However, those around me see it as both, and I guess I can’t blame them since I love to celebrate others too, just not myself!
I have no problem turning 40. In fact, there is something about it that I absolutely love! There is a certain unstated eloquence about a woman turning 40 that I’m not sure exists quite as strongly with any other age. There is something about 40 that is tailored in class! I believe it’s all of that lovely “beautiful mess” that I went through for 39 years that has brought me to a new and more accurate awareness of the importance of being grateful, graceful and meaningful in life!
Not everyone wears their age well. To wear it well, you have to be willing to embrace your life and all of the calamities within; yes, your calamities and everyone elses! Take time to share a smile, to laugh and to love especially when you are not in the mood to do so! Forcing peace to prevail and loving others in unexpected ways is what it is all about. I love how Arthur Katz puts it in the book, Ben Israel:
God knows that what may be ultimately right to do is beyond the reach of my wisdom. Every prayer is filled with requests for His guidance and direction. In the months to come I will be alert for His voice. I am learning to make mine not so strident that it would drown His should it come.
And, indeed, His voice has always been present, but now at the age of 40, I am a much better listener when He speaks! Children have a better ability to focus as they grow older and their ears become trained to listen! The same holds true with us! Welcoming God’s voice in my life has liberated me to finally be the woman I have always chased after and never quite knew how to become! Now, I can finally say that I have acquired greater wisdom, and it is truly the best birthday gift that I could ever ask for!!
My soul is stretched out in space, in personal commitments, in concepts and ideals, in faith and unbelief, in moral passion and animal hunger and in many other ways. In the process of being drawn taut, I am also being made.
Allowing my entry into the forties to forge me into a new and more fruitful design is where you’ll find me these days! I don’t know how much more living I’ll get to do; but, one thing is for sure, the days won’t be wasted on pleasing and pitying myself. They will be ripened days full of improved balance and increasing bountiful promise!