40 Thoughts on My 40th Birthday

I realize it's been ages... grading papers, taking a class online, finals, tutoring, making things, dating... Life is full indeed. And suddenly, it's June and I'm heading to the Oregon Coast with my boyfriend to celebrate my 40th birthday. 

So, here it is... 40 things on my mind: (in no particular order)

1. I'm only one day older than I was yesterday.

2. I am so much better off listing all the things I am grateful for rather than my complaints.

3. We really are what we eat. I'd rather be healthy.

4. True strength and grit don't come from talking about all the things we should do. It comes when we actually tie our shoes, take to the hills, and test the limits of our human hearts.

5. Our lives can feel wild and messy and leave us breathless. Sometimes, it's incredible and other times it's downright horrifying. Either way, it reminds us we are still breathing. 

6. Pray to God everyday and just watch what happens.

7. Setting healthy boundaries doesn't make us unapproachable or closed off... unfortunately only healthy people will understand this. 

8. Intentionally unplugging is one of the only ways I can hear myself think, sometimes.

9. Text messages should come with a sarcastic font. Someone should invent this... emoji's don't convey the same meaning either and it's gotten me in some trouble lately. Is that a sign I should be less sarcastic? Whatever.

10. Coming home to my dogs wagging tail is one of the best things ever.

11. Seasons are going to change. So, dress for the season we are in and gear up for the one that comes next. It's coming sooner than we think.

12. Bad weather, like a bad hair day, has the power to keep us stranded indoors. Or, we could choose to put on a hat and get on with our lives.

13. I've never believed in lucky numbers.

14. The universe is a wild place. There will be lightening and thunder, such beautiful and furious storms.

15. This year I visited the River of No Return and returned, but not the way I came. Much like life, it's a one way trip.

16. Our excuses don't make us special. Our character does though.

17. Finding my tribe has made this journey totally worth it!

18. I moved to Boise for some breathing room. I had no idea how much I needed that until very recently.

19. My willingness to live in an open, honest, vulnerable way as a writer, an artist, and an educator allows others the space to be more honest and open with themselves. It's contagious. In a good way.

20. We're half way there!


21. This year, I've discovered I'm not afraid of hard conversations. But, I've seen and experienced the power of a harsh word in the wrong moment and the magic of a well-timed encouragement and sometimes I am paralyzed by this power I (each of us) possesses.

22. I seem to wander off inside my head. A lot. I'm not sure what normal is here, but I'm sure I wander off more than most.Making stuff with my hands brings me back. Every time.

23. Clutter makes me unable to concentrate.

24. I'm not sure who said it first... Maya Angelo, Oprah, or my mother, but it's true. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

25. My memory is terrible. I live by lists.

26. We don't get to choose our family, but choosing to be friends with them through life's twists and turns is a gift.

27. I don't think anyone has ever said, "Gosh, I wish my core wasn't so strong." It's the center of myself. I need to work it.

28. I don't go to church because I think the building holds the key to some ancient magical powers. I go to church because I meet God in the faces of His people when we are united like family under one roof.

29. Sometimes the trick to a good night's sleep is letting go enough to actually let myself fall.

30. I've never been good with numbers. I seriously hope I haven't miscounted.

31. A gentle word, a gentle touch soothes the harshness of our reality. True gentleness is a rare thing these days.

32. My assumptions about what I think people (my students, fellow Christians, neighbors...) should already know blinds me to the fact that we are all broken and the learning curve is a steep one for everyone.

33. Love really does cover over a multitude of things... intolerance, hate, evil... apathy.

34. The love of a good man sets me free to be a lady.

35. Setting down roots in a certain placeboes not make me old or boring or afraid of change... it sets the foundation to begin to truly support and engage the people I love, on purpose. This is a counter-cultural act. 

36. It's not really the bicycle (or motorcycle) that I'm afraid of. It's the cars on the road that are not paying attention to cyclists. I still have issues with being vulnerable on the road. Go figure.

37. Sometimes I just need to make dinner for someone else, or give something away. It frees me in a way I can hardly explain.

38. A long walk smoothes out the creases and wrinkles and worries and puts a smile on my face. I always come home with a clear head. 

39. I never thought I'd make it this far.

40. But, I am just getting started.