Today I am 42. I don’t feel it even if I look it. I still feel young and full of energy and excited about my promising future. Of course, I have had two cups of coffee and don’t have any reason to leave the house today. So that always helps. Pulling on bulky winter clothing might make me feel every ache and pain that comes with 42.
I am thrilled to be 42. 41 was a pretty good year so I expect nothing less than that going forward. I am running into 42 eyes shining, smile large with happiness radiating from my every pore. Even the large ones that are causing laugh lines. I have never been one to hate aging. After the childhood I had, every year is a blessing upon blessing upon blessing.
As a child after my adoption, my mom used to make the most amazing Angel Food Cake complete with homemade icing and specially placed candles. I can remember the very first one, I think for my 9th birthday. I woke up not expecting much. But my mom remembered and made it amazing. A special breakfast, my place at the table covered with presents, cake after dinner. Those amazing memories trump any other and make me warm and fuzzy still to this day.
As I have aged and traveled through this thing called life, birthdays and their meanings have changed. On my 21st birthday, I wanted to be loved and shown attention. At the time I was dating a man that literally changed the course of my life. He sent roses, took me to dinner, celebrated me and only me. To this day I have never felt so loved and cared for than I did that day. He died earlier this year, a cherished friend that I still can not imagine life without, and I hope he knows that – on that birthday – he gave me a memory that still makes me smile today.
I threw myself a hell of a party on my 30th birthday because that is what I wanted. To share the excitement over my work success and independence. I was determined to blow it out and celebrate that milestone with pride. I even took in a Texans game in their first season the day after. I met a man there. One that became significant to me. We didn’t work out, as none of my love relationships have, but he changed the way I trusted in my life and marked my 30th birthday indelibly in my mind.
On my 40th birthday I sat on my couch, thrilled to be single after a bad marriage where my birthday was more of a burden to my ex than a celebration, but wondering how I was going to make it through. Now a single mom with three daughters, everything was a question. Their future, my future, our future. On that birthday, I had what I wanted… freedom. With freedom came questions. With time, those questions were answered.
Two years later I sit here, in my warm house, with work that I am blessed to have piled in front of me, that couch sold and a new one replacing it, my beautiful daughters toys, crayons and books strewn about, almost all of those questions answered.
This last year brought so much for me. I settled into my life as a very happy single mom, confident now that I can be here and give my kids what they need to be the best they can be. I let go of friends that showed their true colors and were probably never friends to begin with. I repaired a friendship that I should have never let get damaged to begin with. I marked my daughter’s 5th, 7th and 8th birthdays. I took up a past passion that has now become my favorite thing to do for myself. I reunited with my birth brothers after 32 years, inviting new family and love into our loves.
I learned that I am going to be OK. That I am capable, strong and able to stand in the wake of a tornado and turn it into a double rainbow. As every birthday comes and goes, I also learn that it is never about the ‘stuff’ or what others can do for me to celebrate. It is about my little girl’s voices saying ‘Happy Birthday Mommy’ and drawing hand made cards. It is them asking not to go to school so they can stay home and hug me to make my birthday extra special.. oh so tempting… It is about the people in my life on this day and all year round. The ones who love me between the day on the calendar. The ones who answer the calls, the questions and wipe the tears. The ones who tell me the truth and don’t apologize for it. The ones that I love too.
I Don’t Know About You But I’m Feelin’ 42. And I simply would not have it any other way!