I am not a size 6 like I was in high school...
I don't weigh anywhere close to 117 pounds like I did in 1990 when I went to Prom.
I don't have a PHD.
I haven't invented anything or made my first million...
But as my birthday, my 40th birthday started to roll closer and closer with momentum I couldn't help but reflect on my first 40 years on this earth. I hope to have 40 more, or 60 more if I am blessed with that many.
I am happy in my skin...and yes I will take the wrinkles and stretch marks...I earned every one. I don't feel old. Though at night I do feel tired. I waste and wear out my life loving people not things. I can't think of a better life and I wouldn't want it any other way. If I made more money I would travel more...but not the go to Jamaica and Hawaii kind of travel. I would plan trips to see extended family and dear friends because that is where I gather the most joy and the best memories.
Early on in our marriage we discussed what kind of trips, what kind of memories we wanted for our children. Our trips have almost always included extended family. And when my two year old begs to go see his Uncle D (whom he is named after) that lives an airplane ride away...I confess it makes me smile. Moments and memories mean so much more than momentos and vacation destinations. I am grateful for an incredible culmination of fabulous memories.
I live for family reunions and dinner with friends. I love notes in the mail...both sent and received. I don't believe you can say "I Love You" too much to anyone and if you are remotely close to me I have told you I love you. But I want you to know it isn't tongue in cheek. If I say it, I mean it!
I have learned in my 40 years that life is too short...often! And I need to live in a way that if I didn't wake up tomorrow there would be no significant people in my life questioning my love for them. Believe me, I do see my own weaknesses and know that there are some ways I could do better at this. But I do believe I have made great efforts in that regard...especially with the Butterfly Project where I have written almost 60 letters to family so far. I have many more letters to write in the future!
I have learned that life is beautiful. Yes there is tragedy, sorrow and illness. But there is also JOY, Laughter, happiness, hugs, kisses...and LOVE!
I count myself among the most blessed on this planet. I love myself...imperfections and all! My butterfly wings are wet, and I am still gaining strength and momentum...but I have never flown higher, never been better than right now. So as for today...my 40th birthday...it is going to be fabulous...because I choose for it to be!
Changing the world...One letter and moment at a time!