On Sunday, in the quiet hours of the morning, I officially turned 40.

Over the last 48 hours, I’ve whispered to myself “You’re 40!”  multiple times.  I’ve thought about my mom and what she was doing when she turned 40.  I’ve asked my dad what it feels like to have a 40-year-old kid, and I’ve looked at my husband and proclaimed, “I’m 40!” more than once.

Turning 40 hasn’t been something I’ve been dreading over the last year.  In fact, I’ve seen so many friends hit 40 running, with smiles and celebration, that I’m feeling inspired and excited to experience what this first year in a new decade will hold for me. 

Last year, as I turned 39, I put together a list of 40 things I wanted to work on throughout the year.  As I read through that list on Sunday, I realized I had fallen short on so many of those items. Despite not completing the list I realized that my effort to enrich my 39th year wasn’t a failure – those items stuck with me throughout the year and really did influence the choices I made.  For example, #37 on my list was to read a book series.  While I didn’t make it through the series I did manage to make it through four books out of an eight-book series thanks to Audible and my long commute.  The result?  My blood pressure during my commute to and from work stayed low and my attitude was much improved!  The presidential election eventually took over my car-time listening, but I’ve restarted the series and am looking forward to finishing it up this year!  There are items on list I failed miserably at, such as #5 de-clutter and really purge.  But even as I write this, there’s a plan and date in place to try and have a major purge done by.  This one won’t be easy, there’s a lot of emotional ties to stuff that I need to say goodbye to, but I’m more ready than ever to figure out a way to let go of the stuff that doesn’t have a place. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working on another list.  I’m sure I’ll fall short of accomplishing everything on it, but I hope it turns in to a living list of sorts that helps guide the choices I make and pushes me to tackle difficult tasks

So, here’s to turning 40!  Here’s to being another year older and wiser!  Here’s to accepting and loving myself a bit more unconditionally than I did in my 30’s.  Here’s to the grey hairs and laugh lines that tell the story of the first 40 years of my life.  Here’s to the people who shaped and influenced, cared and loved (and continue to care and love) and helped me reach this awesome milestone!