I turned 38 yesterday, and I have to say that I’m feeling pretty good about it. While a part of me is aware that I’m quickly approaching forty and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the anxiety we’re socialized to feel about that number, an even bigger part me of went to bed the night before my birthday and reflected on my life right now: the view at 38, and quickly realized that I have everything I ever could have hoped to have at this point in my life. I think that a lot of the anxiety we feel at milestone birthdays is related to the question of whether we’ve done “enough” by this point. By no means do I feel like I am everything that I want to be, nor have I done everything I might like to do, but I truly feel like this life that I’m so fortunate to have is everything to me, and I’m so happy with that.
Some days it still feels unimaginably lucky that these three wonderful tiny people are ours and we’re theirs, that we have a house and a yard, that we’re near my parents and our kids will get to spend so much more time with them than ever before, that the kids love their school, and that K and I have good jobs that allow us to provide what our family needs.
I also feel so much more comfortable and familiar with myself in this phase of my life. I’ve talked with friends before about identifying an age that just feels like the age you’re sort of meant to be. I was kind of a strange little kid and was never comfortable around teenagers, not even when I was one, I was happy to say goodbye to my 20s when I turned 30, and I kind of feel like my 30s are just where I make sense. I might even go so far as to say my upper 30s (and who knows, maybe the 40s will feel just right too). This phase of life makes sense to me, and I feel at home in my skin. I also feel a lot more inspired to be creative (within reason) and have pushed past a lot of “I have to be perfect or I’m not trying it” in recent years.
I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, but since I have a January birthday it often feels like the right time to take some time to think about what I want in my life in the next year. A few things come to mind. I want to:
- Continue to do things that allow me to engage my creative side, even when that means doing things imperfectly and pushing through a fear of failure. That includes keeping up this blog, making things with the kids, continuing the Halloween costume tradition, putting the time and energy into learning more about my camera and improving my photography, and maybe even finishing that scarf I began knitting for Jonah roughly three years ago.
- Push us (K included) to invite more people over, make social plans more often, talk to people more, spend time building and deepening friendships locally.
- Start getting some exercise again, in the name of self-care and better health and wellbeing. I haven’t figured out the “how” of this one yet.
- Yell less, model calm and patience for the kids, and play with them more often.
Having kids has dramatically altered the way that I make wishes. They’re so rarely for myself anymore, but here’s to a year of health and happiness.