"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
I do like living. Why did it take me to 40 years of age to realize this? Okay, it did not take that long, but it certainly took desperate and trying times for me to swallow that wake-up pill in my thirties.
Two days from now, I will be forty years old. F..O..R..T..Y. When I was a child, forty seemed so OLD. My dad was forty when he had me and my mom thirty-seven (but turned thirty-eight some ten days later). Forty should not have seemed ancient to me when my parents were just starting their lives with me in their fourth decade of living.
Much like the recent cliché, I do believe that forty is the new thirty. Many of my friends are just now kicking off “living” their lives in their forties. As our children enter their double digits, the constant restraints of littles at home gets a wee bit easier (and our time constraints are more bound by the endless taxiing of these big kids to their activities). Our marriages are more grounded and the ability to focus on activities for ourselves is balanced between spouses with said older children. Not to mention my husband has realized active wear is my preferred look and he seems to find it sexier than stilettos. Seriously, have you seen my confidence as I strut in my favorite Athleta pants? Much more exuberant than watching me try to tip-toe through sky high heels, with arms out plane-style for balance coupled with the idiotic, psychotic giggling as I try to walk with some sense of balance - much as I imagined our evolutionary ancestors did on two legs for the first time.
The aforementioned confidence is something that comes hand in hand with turning forty. I am less afraid to try new things at forty than I would ever have been at twenty. At forty, I know it is not what have I got to lose, but it’s I’ve got everything to lose! My life is nearly half over and I am AFRAID of the clock winding down, ticking out before I have had the chance to accomplish as much as I can.
Sure, staring that cancer monster in the face is more than an enlightening moment – not unlike the scene from “Scrooge” and being paid a visit by the Grim Reaper as the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Yes, it is true that it took me getting a bitch slap in the face by cancer to realize that I was merely existing and not living. I took my amazing body for granted for thirty-something years. No more. I will be living proof that this body will be the best it has ever been by the end of 2014!
My thirties really did suck. There is no better word that describes the rawness of the decade other than it was rotten beyond the core. Being the in the sandwich generation and caring for elderly and sick parents is an unfortunate reality for many of us. Add a cancer diagnosis and nearly a full year of treatment and you have a less than textbook chapter for your memory banks. The positive out of my thirties is I had an unexpected pregnancy, a child that saved my life so I may sit here and embark about what a trip my forties will be.
Children, please sit and watch as your Momma takes on the world. Limited only by money and adult responsibilities (aka work), no experience should be left undone in this decade. (Ahhh, well, I have not quite yet decided if something like sky-diving is on my bucket list….and that tattoo………).
(Yes, that's what I am considering......thoughts?)
Friends, please join me for the ride through the Fanabulous Forties, literally and figuratively. What are YOU waiting for? Is there an experience you have considered but have yet to undertake? Let’s do it. You name it, let’s get ‘er done.
Here are some of my adventures I am committed to thus far in 2014:
· Cupid’s Undie Run
· Disney Princess Half-Marathon
· Boston Marathon
· Reach The Beach Relay
· Warrior Dash
· Huff & Cuff 5k
· Multiple PRs at Crossfit978
Putting the exercise related goals aside, I do hope to do a better job of balancing my life. I will ALWAYS be a breast cancer advocate as long as this disease is a threat to my community. We CAN do better and we have been making an impact on the lives of so many. In 2013, we collectively made a difference and continued to pave the way for change in the world of pink. My passion for spreading the lesson learned (I totally ignored my symptoms of my disease) will be louder than ever. However, I must balance my advocacy with work commitments and my young family.
My goal is to enhance my friendships and do a better job of spending quality time with close friends. Because of a busy life, I often tend to wait for others to ask me to get together and instead, I hope to do more of that myself. Pro-active instead of reactive in 2014 and finding friends who not only love me unconditionally but those who fuel my inner Goofy Goober (or give me a run for my money).
Watching my best friend from childhood battle cancer herself has reinforced my desire to kick off this next decade with a fierce ambition. Therefore, I will share my forties with you: my adventures, my triumphs, my slips and my falls. In this new year of 2014, I will be launching a new blog: “Authentically Bold: Rebecca” for you to journey along with me, if you choose (and I *really* hope you will or I will bat my eyelashes at you relentlessly until your power is weak).
Are you ready? I am open - so let's run, let's climb, let's paint, let's dance, let's laugh, let's cry (okay, not really, I hate crying), let's conquer the time we have and let's make our lives spectacular.
Let’s be alive together. You in?