The Freedom to rock who you are.

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It’s my 40th birthday. I had the most delicious day. I went for hike in greens and blues with my sweetie, I ate huckleberry cheesecake, my mama made me dinner, I received colorful artwork from my kiddos. I was hugged and spoiled and loved. A lot of people asked me if I was going to have a big party. This year, I wanted my birthday to be simple, reflective and playful.

I talk a lot about community because it’s important to me. A rich and solid school community, our friends as community, creating a healthy community. I say we are all in this together, I volunteer, share ideas and enjoy collaborating as human beings. I love that aspect of my world.

It occurs to me as I turn 40, that some things we do by ourselves as well, such as turning 40. I was surrounded by people I love, received blessings from friends and colleagues, and then walked into 40 myself. I felt very supported, honored and surrounded, and aware that this was my walk to walk. Just as the day we were born.

I suppose I could worry about what this birthday is supposed to look like. Perhaps I could be thinner, richer, more figured out, more like ‘The Jones’s”. But honestly, I totally don’t care. And that feels like a gift.

At 40, I am a mother, daughter, worker, writer, painter and friend. And I think that rocks! So much of my day to day walk is in community, meetings, dinnertime, lunch walks with friends. It occurs to me that some steps are healthy to explore solo. For a long time, I didn’t know that, and I still have to remind myself. It turns out it’s ok to say, I am going to write for awhile, or get out the paints, without my three kids even agreeing to that. I can say I am going to read this book and people can not like that. And at 40 I’m here to say, that’s ok!

Time to take the nice gloves off -the white ones worn on very fancy occasions. And get out the gardening gloves -earth covered, messy, full of nature’s love. It’s time to get them out and use them. Time to let my hair grow a little crazier, to be late every once in a while, to finish a project I want to, to read a book from cover to cover. Time to dive into the 40’s like a delicious chocolate fondue, and lick my fingers clean.

I guess I’m saying…I’m 40, I love who I am. Here’s to that. Cheers!

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