So I turned 40 this week.
It doesn’t bother me. Turning a new number. It’s just that 40 seems so, well, grown-up. I feel like I should have my life in order and have things together, whatever together means. Instead, I still struggle.
I struggle to raise Godly children who I want so badly to turn into responsible adults. I go back and forth between doing what I think is best and wondering if I’ve screwed them up for life because of my parenting. I see so many great, compassionate, mature qualities in them one moment, and then the next they’re acting cringe-worthy. And don’t even get me started on the boy/girl dynamic. It’s here. The age where my girls are noticing boys and liking boys, and boys are liking them, and they are asking me for advice, and I just want to make it easy for them and smooth things over and help them avoid the heartaches that I know are coming. It’s a scary time for a mom.
I struggle to keep my life balanced between work and home. This is one of my biggest issues right now. I’ve been back at work full time for a year now, and I still don’t have it figured out. I am good at my job. I’m efficient & on top of things. Things are run orderly & systematically and my office stays clean. At home, it’s a different story. Laundry, always the bane of my existence, is strewn around the house in “clean” and “dirty” piles. Dishes pile up. Clutter abounds. Meals are sporadic. There is always something that needs to be done and I don’t always have the energy to do it.
I struggle with my attitude. My mother is one of the most Godly women I know. She is the shining example of someone who sees the best in people, is kind, and gives of herself. Maybe I was naive in thinking that I would grow up to be like her. Am I grown up yet? Because it seems like by 40, I should be… Instead, I struggle with being sarcastic, with having a bad attitude, and not being a gossip. One thing I have learned in my 40 years is that you can’t please everyone. I sometimes take that to extremes though and don’t try to please anyone. I need to work better on being kind, on being sympathetic, on being Jesus to others.
Goodness. How depressing.
Being 40 isn’t all that terrible.
At 40, my marriage is rocking. I know who I am. I know who my husband is, and we have figured out for the most part how to navigate this life together. We started dating at the ripe ages of 16/17, and have spent over half of our lives growing up together. Neither of us is perfect, but we continue to do our best to communicate well, to take time for one another, and to partner in life. The fact that our children are now the age we were when we met is probably one of the hardest things to wrap my brain around right now.
At 40, I appreciate things. Even when our schedule is crazy, and things aren’t getting done to my liking, I can take a step back and look at the big picture. I have a great life. I have a husband who loves me. I have three beautiful, talented, awesome daughters who I love to spend time with. I have great friends and family who I can laugh with and cry with and be myself around. I have lots of books to read, the ability to stock my fridge full of food, and more clothes and unnecessary things than any one person needs to have. I have lived through cancer & health scares and have come out on the other side. I am living the spoiled life.
At 40, I have learned that my salvation is something I can’t earn, but that is freely given. I am no longer afraid that I can’t earn heaven. I can’t. But Christ already took care of that for me, so I don’t have to worry about it. I have studied a lot, and keep coming back to the “greatest commandment”: Love God, Love Others. I want to live a life that reflects that.
So, maybe it’s okay that I still struggle with things. It means I’m human. I’m still growing. And while we never know for certain what the next day holds, I hope that I still have a long time to enjoy this crazy ride we call life.
40 is going to be fun.