The Big 4-O

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Today I am 40 years old.  Just yesterday, I was turning 21, and then 30 and now this.   I remember my father’s 40th birthday party.  We children spied on the grown-ups doing God-knows-what with those hats and feather boas.

And now here I am.

Turning 40 begs a little soul searching–a literal sweep of the cobweb strings clinging to my psyche.  And ever since I woke up this morning, mentally rehearsing the words I’m forty years old in my head, I’ve been doing just that.

What have I learned in my forty years on this earth?  A little of this, a little of that, I suppose is my best answer. But there’s something more just under the surface.

When I was younger, I amassed adventures like glass paper weights, setting them on the mantle to be admired.  See that one?  That’s me in the Alps.

Here I am climbing Mt. Rainier.

 

 

 

And how about this one?

 

That’s when I jumped out of an airplane.

 

Oh and over here, that’s when John and I kicked cancer’s ass.

 

 

 

 

 

Standing here on the very verge of 40, I know now that it’s more than collecting snapshots.  I go to nature to open up, so that when I return I can better connect.  It’s my way of preparing myself for human interaction.

I’m neither an introvert or an extrovert, but rather an adventrovert.  I need to challenge myself a little, put myself out there just a touch, shake up my routines.  Then I can connect with others.

Over the weekend, my husband threw me a 40th birthday party.  There was a photo booth with a life-sized cut out of me that guests could pose with (hilarious).  Beside the bar was a shot luge–an ice sculpture complete with ski tracks, down which would swirl peppermint schnapps for the lucky recipient waiting at the runout (dangerous).  And best of all, most of my friends and family, including childhood cohorts, sung me happy birthday (amazing).

40 doesn’t look so bad anymore.  After all, this is the good stuff.

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8 responses »

  1. Happy of happiest days today! What a beautiful post… I wish for you an amazing year of reflection, adventure, passion, joy and growth. Enjoy every moment. 🙂

  2. Terry,

    I agree about 30. Hoping 40 lives up to the hype.

    Arthur,

    Would love to get the band back together. The holidays are super busy up at the ski area, but let’s aim for after the new year.

  3. May I use your new word, Kim? I tell people I’m both an introvert and extrovert, and most days there’s no telling which it’s going to be… but I’d rather tell them I’m an adventrovert, which captures it best! I relate to you so much, because you’re all about experiencing life fully. BTW – I did a tandem skydive, too. I was surprised that after the initial rush, I felt more relaxed than I ever had in my life.

    As for turning 40, I’m a canary in a coal mine here, because I’m already in my forties, so I thought I’d tell you: jump in, the water’s fine! A few things I’ve done since 40: trekked to Choquequireau & Machu Picchu in Peru, hiked in the Rocky Mountains, fly fished in Alaska, visited a stone age village in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, found my great-grandfather’s village in China, published a book. When we embrace life, the world, and its people, then every year is simply a new adventure, even if you’re 99.

    • Cara,
      Feel free to call yourself an adventrovert. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And it is quite fitting for you. I love your list of post-40 adventures. Machu Picchu is on my list in 2011. Publishing a book is certainly another exciting adventure. (By the way–I’m loving They Only Eat Their Husbands.)
      Best,
      Kim

      • Ooo, if you’re doing Machu Picchu, please humor me as I make a possible suggestion: I’ll be you’re planning to take the Inca Trail – most people do – but may I suggest the Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu. It doesn’t make a straight shot to the site, but you’ll see more local culture, gorgeous scenery, and a lot fewer other trekkers and sellers. Plus it’s cheaper & you don’t have to add to the erosion on the Inca Trail. On the other hand, if you do the Inca Trail, I’ll be eager to hear about it!

        (I’m excited to hear that you like the book so far. Thanks.)

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