This Is 43

Yes! We’re mingling again!  This time, with AnnMarie from Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos.  I just love AnnMarie and while I can’t remember exactly how we ran into each other in this vast blogosphere, once I found her, I decided to stick as close as possible to this funny, wise, warm hearted woman.   AnnMarie just had a birthday, by the way. Who wants cake???

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A little over a week ago, I turned 43. When I was in my 30’s, I dreaded my 40’s. I had a whole list of things I was going to do before I was 40.

*Topping the list was publishing a book

*Have all my kids two years apart so that they would be close in age.

*Travel all over with my family

*Live in my dream house

*Finally learn to be organized

That was my plan but as the mom of a teen, twin tweens and a toddler, none of those have happened yet (all but the having kids close in age still could) and for once, I am okay with that. See, my 30’s sucked. I was dealt a lot that was never in my plan. It took turning 43 to finally realize that things are going to happen in life that I have no control over. I can only control how I let them affect me.

I’ve learned a few other things since turning 43.

*Being 43 means I am still young enough to make a career change. I still have the desire to learn. I want to go back to school in the worst way and though it might not be in the cards right now, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. Maybe I’ve finally learned patience. Maybe I’ll end up being a counselor. Maybe I’ll end up in a career where I get paid to write. Maybe I’ll go back to teaching. I don’t have to look behind and say, “I should have”. I can look forward and say, “I might still”.

*Being 43 still feels like I have the world at my finger-tips. I’ve done things in the last year that I never thought I would. I am actually writing for an audience. So I might never publish a book, or I might. Who knows? I just know that my success in life is no longer determined by the things I have yet to accomplish but it is determined by what I have already accomplished. How lucky am I that three dreams I had in life have come true? I was a teacher (maybe someday, I will be again), I am a wife and I am a mother. At the end of the night when I hear the five other people in this house say, “Good night. I love you,” that feels pretty amazing (and not just because it means they are going to bed).

*It’s taken me 43 years but I FINALLY look at exercise as a blessing. I exercise not to be skinny but because I am still able to (and if I get fit in the meantime, then all the better). Let’s face it, the older we get, the more the bones start to ache and muscles stop moving the way we want and now I look at it like as long as I can still move without pain, I’m going to take advantage of it.

*One of my favorite parts of being 43 is that I now have the ability to say, “No” if I don’t want to do something. The best part…I no longer feel guilty. Life is too short to do things that make you unhappy.

*Being 43 means not engaging in arguments because I need to be right. I can listen to someone’s opinion and disagree with them but say, “Hmm…that is interesting,” and still walk away feeling confident in my beliefs whether it be religion, politics or raising children. I live by the phrase, “Everyone does what they feel is best for themselves. Who am I to say it’s wrong if it is working for them?”

*Being 43 means not putting up with relationships that aren’t 50/50. It’s the life is too short thing again. Why give of myself to someone that isn’t willing to give back the same amount? Is it painful? Absolutely. But with age, I realize that time is precious and spending it on someone that isn’t willing to expend the same amount of effort is a waste of it. Wasted time leads to regrets and who wants to live a life of regrets?

*Being 43 means knowing what makes me happy and not being afraid to ask for it. This is a big one. No more mind-reading. No more guessing. No more being bitter because people don’t know. I am finally taking my own happiness in my own hands. Being 43 means finally knowing myself well enough to know what I need and what I don’t.

I don’t know if there is any truth to the saying “40 is the new 30”. I do know that 43 feels a lot better than 33. I’ve decided I am no longer going to hate my birthday. I am going to celebrate it. Each year, I’ll celebrate that I am still a work in progress and remember the ways I learned and grew from the year before. If you read my blog, you know that there is no doubt that life with all the craziness will give me plenty of opportunities to do both.

Being 43 means embracing the chaos. If it is going to be chaotic, I might as well be the Queen, right?

AnnMArie

I am a stay at home mom of a teen, twin tweens and a toddler married to my college sweetheart. Things you’ll find in my blog: A LOT about parenthood, A LOT about marriage, some about infertility, some about Cystic Fibrosis (the boys battle it), some about having to bury our baby, Rocco. I write what is on my mind and about the chaos that is life with four kids and a husband that can’t sit still for longer than ten minutes.

 


Comments

This Is 43 — 45 Comments

    • Thank you so much and welcome to the club (next month)! Don’t let the number scare you. So far, my 40’s are rocking. If we dwell on wanting to hang onto our youth, we miss out on all the wonderful things about being older.
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  1. I liked my 30s (late 30s anyway) but so far I am pretty happy with the 40s too. 43 is almost over for me. So agree with you about not putting up with relationships that aren’t 50/50. Life is too short. I have a bunch of people in my life who I can count on and that’s enough for me.
    Michelle recently posted…Memories Captured: The Calm of the BeachMy Profile

  2. This is so encouraging! I am 41 and sometimes find myself feeling 5 years behind as if there is a timeline I am comparing myself to. Thanks for the reminders. Ps you have a beautiful family.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words! I know that after I turned 40, I felt the rush of having to accomplish something so that I could say I did. It was only this year that I started to look at the big picture.
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

    • Being able to say no might be the best perk. 🙂 Had someone told me when I was 39 that pretty soon I’d be able to stop doing things I hate, I probably would have been more excited. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet words.
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  3. This is so inspiring. I love the idea that the old we get, the more of the world there is at our fingertips because we are now wise and confident enough to go for it. Dreams never have to stop!
    Tricia recently posted…A big school yearMy Profile

    • Thank you so much! I love that line, “Dreams never have to stop!” I think as I have gotten older and know myself better, the dreams have expanded and changed and seem more attainable.
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  4. So awesome to see you here. I love both of your blogs. And I love this post, although I’m turning 33 next month and I certainly hope it doesn’t suck! My 20’s had a lot of pain so I was looking forward to 30. And I suppose the list of what you mentioned makes 40 look a lot sweeter than I imagined. Although the movie “This is 40?” Ugh! Your post is ten million times better than that. So thank you.
    Tamara recently posted…I Love Everything About You.My Profile

  5. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I’m 45 and things *are* different than when you are in your 20s or 30s. Like you, I’ve learned to say “no”, and you *do* start to figure out what matters to you and makes you happy…and you have the knowledge to go after it.

    Our culture is one of youth worship. We need more voices like you that point out that there really are advantages to having a few years under our belts. They really do exist and we should embrace them!!

    Happy Birthday to you, AnnMarie! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…The Dose Girls Do It Old SchoolMy Profile

    • Absolutely! There are so many advantages to having experience on our side. You are so right about society and it’s a shame. I cringe with the memories of what I did or how I acted or decisions I made in my youth because I didn’t know myself well enough. There is a freedom in embracing ourselves as we age. Thank you for all the love, my friend. 🙂
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  6. Pink puffy heart this post so hard we can barely stand it!! And this by far was our favorite line…I don’t have to look behind and say, “I should have”. I can look forward and say, “I might still”. Because, yes, that is it in a nutshell. So glad to see 2 of our favorite people in the same place together! :)-The Dose Girls
    thedoseofreality recently posted…The Dose Girls Do It Old SchoolMy Profile

    • Awww…thank you, my friend! You know you guys are one of my faves! I love that you love that line. I’ve spent so much time saying, “I should, I should” that it’s only been recently that I realize I can say, “I still might” and just having the possibility is so exciting. 🙂
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  7. I commented but am not sure where it went. I miss you too! Don’t feel bad, I just got back from a mini-vacation and still haven’t caught up on reading and commenting. Thanks for the birthday wishes!
    AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  8. I’m completely with you! I just turned 41 and I think my fave years have been the past few…there’s a certain confidence and a certain appreciation for life. I saw the movie “And this is 40” and HATED IT. I felt so sad for the characters – and think it gave “40” a bad name! 40s rock so far!!
    Leah Davidson recently posted…Gone from my SightMy Profile

    • I am going to have to check out that movie. I agree about being more confident and having an appreciation for life. There is also an excitement to see what the future holds because we are still young enough where anything is possible. 🙂
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  9. Such an inspiring and beautiful post AnnMarie! You look amazing by the way! I love you more and more every time I read you, and I’m always so inspired by your optimism and outlook on life. You’re a fighter! And I know if you want to do it, you will!
    Alexa recently posted…Breaking the SilenceMy Profile

    • Awww…Alexa…this brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for your sweet words. From one fighter to another, I am touched by this comment. 🙂 Love you, too, btw. 🙂
      AnnMarie recently posted…This is 43My Profile

  10. This is by far, one of your BEST posts EVER!!!!! Oh how I love to see how you have grown into “celebrating” your life instead of “wishing it”… I get that though. We all get that… because we all have been there!!! Your revelations are so eloquently said and so inspiring!! 🙂 I think forties are the BOMB!!! SO much better than the thirties- I hear ya.
    Chris Carter recently posted…Old School Blog! (Take two…)My Profile

  11. I will be 37 at the end of this month and I feel 40 looming… my 30’s have been…interesting and I’ve been a single mother for the entire time (my divorce was finalized 21 days before my 30th birthday!) That hasn’t been all bad, but let’s just say I hope my 40’s are a little better!

    I wanted my children close in age as well. They are 18 months apart and then I stopped!
    Single Mom in the South recently posted…The Post That Has You Turning Around in Front of the Mirror…My Profile

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