Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eyes like wild flowers within demons of change...

Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
...Keep your mind set, keep your hair long.
Oh my my darlin' keep your head up, keep your heart strong. 
Ben Howard

When I stated unequivocally that my 40th year was going to be a game changer, I don't think I had the last 9 months in mind. 2014 in all itz glory

There have been some pretty major milestones, along with a few minor ones: 
MAJOR: M and I have been married for 10 years (together for 18)!!!
minor: I changed oil for the first time in my life. 

REALLY MAJOR: I trekked 34 miles in one day: so-this-did-happen and I can prove it: show
major-ish: I did not suffer any injuries after trekking for 35 in less than 15 hours. 
Minor: The kid survived her freshman year, and her exceptionally boring summer at home.

MAJOR: We have lived in Pittsburgh for five years!!! Which also means I've actively maintained a blog about moving to Pittsburgh for five years and I am still as excited about living here as I was to move here. 
MAJOR: The kid returned to her sophomore year with two jobs, two radio shows, determination and enthusiasm. SO PROUD. 

This past year has provided me with many opportunities to reflect upon where I started and where I've arrived in this year with so many milestones. There have been many moments in the last 25 years where I could not contemplate what my life would look like at 40. There have even been moments I did not think I would be alive at 40 (they've been few and far between, but they've happened). 

So this is it, eh? Forty...

Materialistically - Got stuff. Nice stuff. Meaningful stuff, some random stuff, I try not to hold on to crappy stuff. 

Professionally - Although my current duties in cube life leave something to be desired at the moment, I know that I am VERY LUCKY to have a job and specifically a job that comes with a living wage, good benefits, reasonable hours and expectations. I am also lucky to have this job because there was a time in my life I did not have excellent prospects in the job dept. Certainly a job that came with all the aforementioned qualities was not one I thought I (a single mother with no college education) would be having. While my skills and drive have led me to maintain a decent professional career I can not deny that I have had more than my fair share of lucky breaks along the way.

Health - I definitely indulge, but I exercise and drink gallons of water, so I'm doing okay.

Friends - what can I say about those who provide me with counsel, laughter, support, respect and compassion not in spite of my crazy ways, but because of my crazy ways - for that I am forever indebted to them.

Family - while my family connections are smaller than some - those that I have keep me rooted in truth, loyalty, and belief.

Last but not least, in fact most important - LOVE - love is simple and complicated all at once. IT is worth it. IT has saved me from fear and from ignorance, IT has saved me from myself more than once and IT will likely save me again in the future. love is a gift and I work hard not to take it for granted, including the love I have for myself. 

40 has kicked my ass. 40 has shown me what I am capable of and who I can be. 40 was not what I expected, but it has been everything I asked for. 40 is so good.

There are three months left in this carnival ride of a year, I'm looking forward to settling in to my fourth decade in this fourth quarter of my fortieth year: beginning with my first South Side Step Trek, and our fifth hockey season (#LetsGoPens). 40 is good and its only getting better.