Well yes, everybody, today is my 40th birthday! Happy Birthday to me! I have to admit I've been struggling a little bit with this turning 40 business. I know, yes I know, that age is just a number, and we're only as old as we feel, and who cares about birthdays anyway and blah blah blah. But . . . it's just weird. How did I get this old? And do I really feel this old? (actually, in some ways, yes.) And do I really look this old?!? (again, unfortunately, probably yes.) Ugh.
Truth is, sometimes I really feel like crap. Sometimes I think, only 40? Seriously?!? I have gained weight over the past year that I am really not happy about. And I hurt. Dangit, I just hurt. All the time. And I've decided to grow out my hair color, due to cost and upkeep and all the chemicals and neurotoxins in hair dye. It's an interesting experiment to see how it goes. And I have quite a bit of gray! It's rather shocking and hard to get used to. And it's easy to start to feel a bit down about it all (a bit down?!? That's hilarious). And how am I spending my birthday so far? Calling and waiting for calls back from Drs, for another freaky issue I'm having that is causing me a lot of anxiety. So. To combat all this worry and woe of now being 40, I've decided to buoy myself up by remembering all the things that make me fabulous! HAHA. 40 of them in fact. Because, why not? I need to remind myself that I am, in fact, pretty great at this age.
So, may I present to you, 40 fabulous things about me, or things I've done, or about my life at this point in general. Most of you probably know these already, but I just need to make a list. Because I like lists. So here you go:
1. I'm lefthanded. That's one of my best qualities.;)
2. I have given birth to 4 beautiful babies, the biggest one being 9lbs 5 oz, and naturally at that! (3 of the 4 were natural, the big boy being the first!)
3. And I breastfed each of them for over a year.
4. I've run in a handful of 5Ks
5. I've been on a hot air balloon ride.
6. I've gone whale watching.
7. I've been white water rafting.
8. And rappelling down a cliff.
9. I served an 18 month mission in Germany for my church.
10. I graduated from BYU with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
11. My record for number of books read in a year (since I've been keeping track) is 108 in 2010. I read a lot.
12. I've been blogging since 2007.
13. I'm an avid journal writer, currently finishing up journal #58.
14. I write poetry. I've been working for years on a project to compile all of my poems I've ever written onto a private blog. It's a big project.
15. I play violin. For a few years I played in a community symphony.
16. I like to take a lot of photographs.
17. I like to keep track of things. I consider myself a memory keeper, record keeper.
18. I completed a sprint distance triathlon.
19. I like little tiny things.
20. I've been married to my best friend for 17 years now.
21. I'm not terribly crafty but I've started experimenting with quilling, which is fun.
22. I have kept just about every letter ever written to me.
23. I save stuff. (see #17)
24. It's hard to come up with 40 awesome things about myself.
25. Maybe I'll stop here.
26. ummm . . . I once went to a concert all by myself and felt brave.
27. I eat lemon cake every year for my birthday. Except for last year when I was gluten and dairy free and could only find a gluten free cake mix that was flavored like sweetened cardboard.
28. I have been to a lot of States. I filled out that map thing on Facebook but I'm not going to go back to look at it.;)
29. I've hiked to the top of Mt Timpanogos.
30. I've hiked in both the Rocky Mountains and Shenandoah mountains.
31. I like canoeing - and paddle boating.
32. I like zip lines quite a lot.
33. I've been to Yellowstone National Park, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park in UT.
34. I've been to Acadia National Park in Maine.
35. I've been to Mt Rushmore National Memorial.
36. And many National or State parks and forests in VA, CA, IN, UT, and possibly other places too. I should start keeping track, I can't remember them all by name.
37. Oh and I've been to Niagara Falls.
38. I grew up in Northern VA which means I've been to the Smithsonian museums in DC, and the art museums, and Botanical Gardens, and many civil war sites, and presidential birthplaces, etc.
39. Oh and the National Aquarium at Baltimore is one of my favorite places on earth.
40. I've also been spelunking, or caving.
So, you know. Life has been good.
It's good to take some time to remember that. I know I've probably forgotten a lot of things, possibly even bigger and better things than what I have listed here. But, you know, it's hard to think of everything (or sometimes anything) when you're staring at a screen trying to come up with stuff. So this is what came out.
(oh and remember the 100 things about me post I wrote back in 2008? You can click on that for more useless facts and never ending lists about me.) :)
So, in 40 years I've done some stuff. Not huge stuff. Nothing earth shattering or world changing. But let it be known that I am here. I matter and my story matters. What I know, what I feel, the places I've been, the things I've done, they matter. The people who I have affected or that have affected me, all matter.
That reminder to myself is my birthday present to me this year.
ps - as a birthday gift to me, would you leave a comment and let me know that you're reading this? I would love that so much.:) Thanks!!