My almost 18 year old daughter had her high school prom Friday night. She was stunning in a long white gown, her hair flowing, makeup flawless. Surrounded by her friends, she was glowing and as I took the last few pictures before I said my good bye to her for the night I started to cry. Not tears of sadness but of relief and pride. I had raised one more of my 4 humans to adulthood. A talented athlete with great marks and a killer attitude, she is off to university in the fall.
This is my 40’s and I love it.
For the most part, my days of mom guilt are behind me. I’m trying my best and sometimes I am a motherhood rock star and others a one hit wonder. There are days I nail this parenting thing and I relish them. And on the days I fail, I pick myself up battered and bruised and move on. I love my kids and I know they love me. It’s enough.
Being in my 40’s brings has brought a new perspective to work life balance. I have a job that I look forward to going to each day and I want to contribute and work hard. I also know that life is short and is meant to be spent sharing laughs and great food, finding adventure and staying in bed past the alarm, not hunched over a laptop. Work hard, play hard has taken on a bit more meaning.
The travel fund that sits on my counter used to have to be full before I would book a trip. Over the last year both my partner and I have had health scares. And though we are grateful that everything turned out fine, this was a wake up call that we aren’t guaranteed a set amount of time on this planet. We did however realize that we are in full control of our time, money and priorities. Our new mantra has shifted to “book it baby” or last week “Belize Baby!!!!!.”
The older I get the more freedom I have. Freedom from caring what everyone thinks (because really we are all just trying to survive the ride of life), freedom from worrying if I measure up, freedom to eat the fucking chips and drink the fucking wine because nobody celebrates an amazing life (or a great book) with with water and kale.
My forties have taught me to hold on tight to the people who raise me up or will at least get down on the floor beside me (or dance on the table, stand in the fire). The people who will hold me accountable but also truly forgive me. It’s like being in the middle of a book where finally the story of who we are begins to come together into an authentic collection of the things and people we love.
And after years of kid chaos, its where I have finally got the laundry caught up : )