Monday, December 14, 2015



I mostly don't think about my age anymore; it seems irrelevant in most situations, except the ones in which I am pointing out to my eight-year-old how many more years I've been alive than she has. This is handy for when she thinks I have no clue what I'm doing, but she is an expert, and also when she is discouraged because she cannot do something as well as I can. But for the most part, I don't think about it, and thus turning forty snuck up on me. I have now been forty for two weeks. I didn't have a big party or get a big gift. It's just not the year for that, and I'm not much on big parties besides.

The way I celebrated was perfect for me, however. I think there is an expectation that entrance into a new decade requires something big, and I'm here to say that that's ridiculous. Whatever age you're turning, I think you should get to celebrate in the way that feels good to you. I started off my morning with two doughnuts instead of one, drank a very fancy cocktail while talking with a good friend and taking in a magnificent view, took an evening stroll by myself, and met up with my little family for Thai food. We had cake at home. I got a modest gift. It really was perfect.

Walking along the Thames that evening, I was overcome with a feeling of gratitude. My thirties were packed full of things that were amazing and hard and wonderful and every other descriptor under the sun. I met my husband, moved across the country for work, then moved back and got married. We became family to our Z, then moved across the country, then became family to our E, all in short order. We embarked on two years of paperwork and appointments and working hard to get everyone well, and once that was mostly wrapped up, we moved internationally. It was a very full decade. It was a lot of hard work, while being full of joy as well. It made me into the person I am today, and I would not have it any other way. My thirties were a big gift.

At forty, I find myself in the city I always hoped to live in, working on making the kind of life we want to have for our family. I have no idea what the next decade will bring. But for now, I know that I am blessed and lucky beyond comprehension. I have two beautiful children and a husband who is a very good man. I am doing work that suits me, filling my hours with things that are good and useful and sometimes just fun. I have everything I need and many things I want. If this is what being forty feels like, well, then I really like being forty. I like it very much indeed.

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