Sept 11, 2006 

Iím turning forty in two months and 6 hours and 50 minutes. Not that Iím watching the clock or anything. Iím dreading this birthday. As a matter of fact, a lover of parties, Iíve threatened my husband with bodily harm if he surprises me with one this year. I havenít much felt like celebrating this birthday.

Statistics show I am halfway through my life. Excuse me but Iíd like to hit the rewind button please. No, I donít really have any regrets. The decisions Iíve made in my life have shaped me into the person I am today. Theyíve brought me to this place, lying on my chair in the family room with my amazing husband babbling to his brother on the phone near me. Iím happy with this life.

Itís just all gone so fast and the impending losses Iíll experience are weighing heavily on my mind. If Iím halfway through my life that means my parents are nearing the end of theirs. Iíve started to think about what my life will be like without them. Honestly, Iím not sure how Iíll live though it. I know I will. I know Iím incredibly strong. Iíve endured things beyond the scope of some imaginations. I just canít imagine how things will be without them.

Time will not only take my parents, but its taken things from me that I want back. I canít really put a finger on it yet, but somethingís just not right with me. Whatever it is has truly begun to take its toll over the last year and has weighed so heavily on my soul itís now wreaking havoc on my health. I feel like crap. All the time. Iím exhausted and have stopped sleeping. I go to bed and my mind races. About nothing. My chest feels as though itís going to explode and breathing is labored and painful. I have headaches, muscle aches and hand cramps. My body is trying to tell me something but I canít quite figure out what it is.

Katrina, knower of all I donít know (and a lot of stuff I do know, too!) and I talked about the effect our lives have on our bodies and how our problems, issues and unsettled stuff in general manifest themselves into aches and pains and even diseases. A few years ago I would have thought that was a bunch of new age, naturalistic BS (sorry, KatrinaÖIím a lot less closed minded now!) but now I completely believe itís true. What we do plays a big part in what we are. Iíve been trying to figure out my Ďlifeís purposeí for a few years now, feeling frustrated, bored, anxious and unsettled. Thereís something more out there for me. Itís this close. I can almost see it but itís still a bit blurry. Iíve felt as though Iím not going to be Ďwholeí until I figure out this purpose stuff and start living it. Itís a constant struggle for me emotionally and now physically too.

Iím not going to let forty be the way the past two years have been. Forty is going to be a good year.

I bought a book Katrina recommended to me. Itís not come yet but the cards I ordered to go with it have. The theme behind these cards is to connect your inner-self with your outer-self and see what youíre dealing with and should be doing. The directions said to not be surprised if there was a theme to these cards. So I decided to give them a try today. I shuffled and shuffled and shuffled some more. Then a few more times just to be sure. I grabbed cards from all over the deck and placed them in a straight line. While shuffling I focused and sought guidance from people I love whoíve passed. I turned the cards over and yes, there was a theme. There was a big-ass theme staring me right in the face. I laughed, because honestly, it was pitiful. It wasnít anything new but Iíve used my Ďlifeís purposeí search as an excuse to not acknowledge what these cards were meant to remind me of.

In a nutshell, my card spread was a typical Nike commercial. ďJust do itĒ. Okay, so thereís a little more to it than that. The cards told me Iím not perfect so stop thinking ďIf I onlyÖĒ that would make me perfect. They told me that I already know what I want and what I should do but Iím not doing it. Just do it.

It was like a slap in the face. Iíve had so many excuses for so many things for so long now I donít think Iíve accomplished much of anything in the past two years. But forty is going to be different for me. Frankly, Iím tired of feeling like crap. Iím tired of dreading getting old and Iím tired of feeling incomplete, unfinished. Maybe Iíll never be finished but I feel as though Iíve stopped the whole completion process, Iím stagnant. Iíve used everyone and everything as an excuse to stop. Just stop me. So Iím going to start me again. Iím going to work through the chest pain, breathe deeper even though it hurts. Run faster (actually, run at all!) even though I think I canít make it another step. Stop comparing myself to everyone whoís thinner, smarter, wiserÖbetter. I mean, come on, everyoneís got their own problems. Theyíre just not wearing them on their sleeves like me.

For me, turning forty means:

F----ocusing

O---n

R---ealizing

T---he

Y---eses

Yes, I am good enough. Yes, I can finish my first best seller. Yes, I can take time for me. Yes, I can feel good about myself. Yes, I can get through the tough stuff. Yes, I can enjoy getting older and all of the new things it brings.

Iím setting some goals for myself. Iím not necessarily going to be selfish, but I am going to focus more on me. And I feel good about this. I feel like itís time. Itís time to follow through with the things Iíve stopped or have been too afraid to start. Statistics say Iíve got forty years to get it right. I know how quickly time zips by, so Iíd better start now.

 

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