Monday, December 22, 2014

Today, I turn 40

I woke up this morning to a new decade. I am feeling very nostalgic and wanted to write a birthday post for two reasons: 

1. because I have grown very wise in the last 40 years
2. so Ann wouldn't post a bunch of cute pics from my glory days.

For those of you that are approaching 40, have surpassed 40 or are ringing in 40 in 2014, know this: You are not alone. 

In my 20s, I'm not sure what I accomplished, gained or endured. I got married, looked pretty good and started a family. No offense to anyone in their 20s, but I was clueless. I was invincible, naive and fingers crossed, heading into "real life" with a smile on my face. 
While I was very fortunate to get through my 20s unscathed, for me, my 30s were tougher. 
Real, if you will. 

Just the other night, I was reading the Velveteen Rabbit to the twins. Yes, they thought it was strange that I cried through a portions of it, but it is so true. There is a part where the skin horse says to the rabbit: 

"You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are REAL, you can't be ugly, except to those that don't understand...."
This got me thinking. 
I have seen a lot in the last ten years. I have been through a lot. 
I have given birth to three kids, lost almost everything
(materialistically speaking) in the economic down turn, rebuilt my design business and watched my husband rebuild a career. 

I have (more importantly) lost friends to cancer, almost lost my dad to a heart attack and watched loved ones endure challenges with their health, their marriages, having children, and then, raising them. 
Yes, after 40 years, my hair has been loved off and I'm loose in the joints. My skin is sagging in all of the wrong places. I have become REAL.  I may even be ugly to some, but only to those that understand... 
What is means to be REAL... 
I am 40 years old and I can say that out loud.
I know where I stand with my faith, my husband and my children.
I know that marriage is hard and it takes lots of work.
I know who my real friends are and had to find out the hard way.
I know that I am adored by God and am pursued by Him daily.
I know that my self-worth is in God and God alone. 
Because of Him, I have value.
I know that watching loved ones go through something is almost harder than going through it myself.
I know, with every passing day, how lucky I am to still have my parents and my heart breaks for those that don't. 
I know that while my body may sag in all the wrong places and I have the stretch marks to prove it, I am whole. I am healthy and I have all of my parts. I am thankful for something so simple because I know friends that have lost pieces of themselves to cancer, disease and heartbreak. 
I know that, while my children aren't perfect, they are entrusted to me and I am thankful I am the one that gets to screw them up.
I know that my job is just that, a job. Everyday, I get to do what I love and I am thankful that I get to effect people's surroundings and hopefully their lives, but at the end of the day, my faith and my family come first.
I know that this next decade will have it's challenges, 
but I am ready. 
Here's to 40!
 Bring it on...


asliceofsmithlife said...

I loved this post Hooper as I can relate in so many ways, stretch marks and all! :) Great reflections! I'll be joining the 40s club in Aug. 2015 and I'm for real! :) Congrats on 40 years of ups and downs, trials and triumphs! Have a happy Birthday!

Rebecca Taylor said...

Beautiful post Hooper. Happy Birthday to you today. May you have a wonderful next decade and learn a lot in it. God has many plans for you this next decade. Stay tuned
Rebecca Taylor

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