This is 40…actually.

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For the past forty days, I’ve been on a quest for self reflection and discovery. Although I’ve had 479 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days to learn who I am and whose I am, I was more intrigued with the WHY. Why do I do what I do, the way that I do? Why can’t I ever get anywhere on time? Why do I let irrational fear overcome what I know to be real? I’ve got lots of questions, but they can’t all be answered at once, so I’ll work on it.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to do something special to celebrate the “BIG 4-0” milestone, but I didn’t want a bucket list, or to plan a trip or a party. Those things are great, don’t get me wrong, but it felt more appropriate to celebrate the people and events that mean the most to me, rather than simply celebrating “me” (that’s what my kids are for).

The “40 Days to 40” list became bigger than I could have imagined. On the list included things I’ve always wanted to do, things I felt I should do, and things that seemed fun and exciting to do. I’ll be honest…the list isn’t quite complete. There are a few items that haven’t yet been checked off, but eventually, they will be. One of the items that seemed to have the greatest impact on the exercise was my decision to write a blog to journal the “40 Days to 40” experience. At first, I thought blogging would end up only being a fulfilled promise, but it has become much more.

In the past forty days, I’ve learned that life is to be enjoyed with the people you love the most. I’ve learned that we should always be good to each other, especially those who can’t do anything for us in return. I’ve learned where my strength, faith, and love for life and family all come from….LOVE. I’ve learned if you spread love, you will be lucky enough to get love in return. I’ve learned that Nina Simone was an absolute genius, and I would have loved to experience her in concert. I’ve learned that I can give my kids the world, but all they need is love, and they will hopefully turn out to be pretty good human beings. I’ve learned that friends are precious and should never be taken for granted because they don’t have to stick with you like family does. I’ve learned that my husband is even more awesome than he knows, and I enjoy starting new chapters in life with him. He is truly my soul mate. I’ve learned that sometimes you can inspire others simply by being who you are, because it encourages them to do the same and being yourself is enough. I’ve learned that I’m not half bad at writing, so it will be something I’ll continue. I’ve learned that painting is fun and if I actually learned brush strokes, techniques, shading, blending and color mixing, I may one day paint a flower that actually looks like a flower. I’ve learned that even when you give your best effort, there’s always room to improve. I’ve learned every day you open your eyes, put your feet on the ground and breathe air is an opportunity to be even better than the day before.

Today has been wonderful, thanks to the calls, texts, messages, songs (arranged to perfection) and visits (Mike and Casey). I can’t imagine life without each and every person, who has made every day of my life memorable, special and unique. I’ve been blessed to live a beautiful forty years of life and it hasn’t always been easy, but my God is great and my faith is deeply rooted, so I can laugh without fear of the future and pray for even greater things to come!

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