I was thoughtful this year about whether or not I feel different at 40. I was prepared for an emphatic, YES. And I planned to make a list of all the things I don’t do anymore at this age. But, of course, it wasn’t an emphatic anything. I don’t feel wiser or older (although occasionally my knees tell me otherwise) or better or worse. I just feel like…me. So, when I started preparing my list, I realized, I still do much of the same…just not quite the same way. That the turn of a decade isn’t so much a tidal wave of change, but a gentle whisper of growth – and if I wasn’t paying attention, I may have missed it.
I still worry about my body.
But, not what the scale says. Does it feel rested, hydrated, strong, healthy, able…?
I still worry about what other people think of me.
But, not the whole world or strangers on the street, just a small group, for the right reasons, and they already love me no matter what anyway.
I still lose sleep at night.
But, not about errors I have made. I know I’ll either fix them or learn from them. And I need to give everyone else space to do the same.
I still judge others.
But, less than I used to (still more than I’d like). Because now I know what I don’t know and that is…anything.
I still cry.
But, now I’m not ashamed of it. There are lots of things worth crying over – happy and sad.
I still talk to myself.
But, now it is more kind and forgiving and gentle.
I still look forward to the future.
But, also knowing it will be challenging and beautiful and scary and worth it.
I still work on becoming a better version of myself.
But, I no longer expect to “arrive” at any point. I know this will be a lifelong process.
I still feel hopeful and scared.
But, now I embrace them equally and fully and no longer feel wrong for either, under any circumstances.
I still wear shoes that hurt my feet because they are cute.
But…yeah, I still do that.