Today marks the beginning of the rest of my life. I’m still not really sure how I feel about that, though in BC the average life expectancy for a woman is 84 so technically I’m still a couple of years away from the halfway point. But there is something really profound about turning 40. Hey, you know it’s a big deal when there’s a Hollywood movie commemorating the occasion.
I never wrote up a list of goals defined by age but I certainly wouldn’t have expected to be where I am today. I don’t mean career-wise, house-wise or money-wise. All of that actually seems a lot less important then I ever thought it could be. I am talking about my focus in life.
I thought I was ambitious and determined before Addison, but now I see that I really had no idea what makes a fulfilled life. Yes, I think being a parent and watching your child learn, grow and thrive is life-altering, even if you never have to face a life and death situation. For me, going through what we’ve been through with Addison has helped me find my voice and my passion to do something that really matters. It has given me focus and more meaning. I feel empathy and sympathy like I never have before. I have made deep and profound connections with people I would have never met in my ‘before Addison’ life. I have lived so much more in the last three years then I have the 20 years prior to that.
So I should really think about my 40th birthday as a marker of all that still lies ahead, rather than the “you’re over the hill” Hallmark card. Addison has made a point to tell me I shouldn’t put 40 candles on my birthday cake because there won’t be any left over for her birthday cake. She says I should use just three or four candles. I like the way she thinks.
Here’s to 40!!
Elaine, Aaron and Addison