Sunday, April 18, 2010

“What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy”

OK, so old Voltaire has been dead for several hundred years and yet his wisdom lives on in me.

I turned forty today.
My mother used to tell me that the forties were her best decade.
I think I understand why.

Myself, I have a good husband, four dear, healthy, lovely children, a house and a neighborhood I wouldn't trade for anything, smart, funny, loving friends (both IRL and on the 'nets), and I can rest assured I will be able to pay my student loan bill every month - a lovely feeling.

Said husband conjured up for my birthday dinner pizza from my favorite place, a delicious chocolate raspberry cream cake, and one of the Sandman graphic novels I did not yet own. (Last night he took me out for an amazing sushi dinner. It's been a veritable 48 hour celebration.)

My body, despite its lumps and flubber, is strong and fit, and heck, in the past ten years bore and nourished four children quite handily.

In my thirties I became a runner, taught myself to knit, and took up zumba (in that process becoming enamored of wholly inappropriate hip-hop artists young enough to be my teenagers) -- and in the next decade, I have plans to learn to rock climb, play women's ice hockey, and continue to improve my skiing form.

My life is coming together.
I am slowly growing comfortable in my skin.
I realize life can change, and will continue to be full of ups and downs, surprises and adventures both large and small, excitement and boredom and happiness and love. I realize there may be great grief in my future, but I rest assured there will also be great joy.

I received this heartwarming and thoughtful email from an acquaintance who is growing into a real friend:

Congrats on completing your 40th year!

Enjoy the day, the week, the month--enjoy it all! Really. Why not?

Ten years from now even Quarto will be in middle school, yes? It will come fast.

Along the way, more blessings and wonders and surprises than you can imagine. In those ups and the inevitable downs, friends and neighbors will always be close by. As we are now.

This birthday--as on each day--you are our gift. And we celebrate!

Happy Birthday!


And I think I am finally old enough to not give a crap what people think of me, not even about how I spend my hard-earned money. So I just placed an order for several more Persephone books. Happy birthday to me!

21 comments:

Badger said...

Dude! Happy birthday to you! So far my 40s are not at all how I expected them to be, and I mean that mostly in a good way. Frankly, I am really kind of looking forward to my 50s.

Bearette24 said...

Yay! Happy birthday.

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday!

ssheers said...

Happy Birthday !!!
My youngest turns 14 today.

ThirdCat said...

Happy Birthday, babelbabe. And many more to come.

Dawn said...

Been a long time reader but don't think I've ever said anything!

Oh well, it's time!

HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY!

Janet said...

Rock climbing! You could so do it. Jeff and I went for our wedding anniversary to West Virginia and I really enjoyed it. We had a patient guide and that really helped. Once home, I rounded up my sister and some girlfriends and we went locally to an indoor climbing facility and then hit a diner for dinner. Super fun.

Katya said...

That feeling of finally being old enough to not care what people think is one of my favorite things about being older. I cared SO MUCH about what people thought when I was in my teens and 20s. Now, not so much. Happy Birthday.

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Happy Birthday! The 40's are really a great decade (and you know what - the 50's are, too!)

Cat said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

This was fantastic as I, too, am turning 40 this year.

I would say enjoy every minute, but you already do.
Giving birth, Zumba, rock-climbing, running, lovely children , loving husband, Sushi and pizza. Just AMAZING!

Celebrate!

Stomper Girl said...

Big happy 40th birthday wishes to you. Glad to hear you were treasured for it.

TLB said...

I am almost exactly a year behind you. Vive 40! Enjoy it. I know I will.

Duyvken said...

Happy happy birthday!
I love that quote from Voltaire - wonderful.

What was done said...

Happy birthday!
The age of 40 can be great:

http://www.whatwasdone.com/Age.php?&Age=40
We are getting old only in our head.

Paula said...

Ooh! Happy Birthday!

I LOVE my forties and yes, I'm looking forward to my fifties too.

Age is power baby!

tut-tut said...

belated tidings to you! fifties are most interesting, btw.

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