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.