40 before 40: How I’m dealing with a milestone birthday in 2017

40 before 40 BeautyJudy

Happy New Year!

A new year means a new opportunity. A chance to make new memories and fill our days with new experiences and accomplishments.

There will be heartache along the way – life is full of ups and downs – but 2017 is a clean slate and it’s ours to make of it what we want!

For me, 2017 is the year I turn 40.

I don’t know how I feel about turning 40. But whether I like it or not, it’s happening!

When my mind wanders to turning 40, I get the image of my mother, the home we lived in when I was in high school, and paper goods with “over the hill” all over them. She turned 40 when I was a teenager, and in many ways, I still feel like that teenager.

I think about my mother being 40 with a teenage daughter, and how I’m going to be 40 with a 2-year-old daughter. It makes me a feel a little exhausted, but also a little youthful.

I can see that I’ve gotten older when I look in the mirror, but I don’t feel “middle-aged.” Is that a thing for ’40’ anymore, being middle-aged? My mind still feels 16, sometimes.

As I get back to posting regularly, I’m going to dedicate my first post of each month to something personal. And for the next few months, that personal post will be about my attempt to accomplish 40 things before I turn 40.

I’ll wrap it up with a post on my 40th birthday, Friday, May 12, and my hope is that some of the things I set out to do will help shape my frame of mind so that when I start my 40th year, I start it with a positive outlook. That I will have learned something along the way.

Technically, I started my list December 12, five months prior to my birthday, but I am still writing my 40 things. In some ways, I’m open to life providing me clues as to what things I should experience and accomplish along the way. But I am also working to accomplish those I know already – #11 is to give back at least once a month, whether it’s volunteering, emotional or physical needs. On Christmas Eve, I took four big Christmas totes full of toys – infant toys, stuffed animals, etc. – to the local ER where my daughter spent her first Christmas at 6-months-old. I attached a letter to every toy, for every parent or caregiver, to tell them that it sucks to be in the hospital with a child you love on such a big holiday, but that someone is thinking of them, sending positive thoughts and virtual hugs. I signed it anonymously from “someone who cares!” I cried a bit when I dropped those toys off, knowing the stress of having to be in the hospital when you’d rather be gathered around the family Christmas Eve dinner table. Especially if something is wrong and you don’t know what. It’s never easy to see your child suffer.

Anyway!

I am a typically open person, but I don’t want to get too deep into my list with you just yet. There are some personal things on the list, and it isn’t complete yet, as I mentioned. I would rather focus on the details in coming posts.

40 before 40 BeautyJudy

I’d love to hear from you – Have you done anything like this? For a milestone age? 30, 40, 50, 60 etc? What was your favorite part of it? Would you do this for your next milestone?

Thank you for joining me in this adventure!