Turning 40!?!

Channeling my inner Cougar Town, I'll "what the what" as I hold up Big Carl and toast this new decade with wonder, laughter and a little surprise. Here's to you proverbial 'top of the hill', I'd like to enjoy the view a while if that's ok with you. I'm not 'over' anything quite yet.

A moment of reflection if you don't mind...a decade ago, at 30, I was in the middle of 500 miles of training for a 26.2 mile marathon which I ran in 3:52 minutes, missing the Boston qualifying time by 22 minutes. I flatlined a month later, requiring the implanting of a pacemaker. Five months later, I ran a half marathon, then divorced my first husband, rounding out my year, in hindsight, running from something I couldn't escape, namely myself. It was a year of 'big' stuff. Moments I was very proud of, and moments I wanted to forget. Moments that saved my life and changed my life. My perspective changed after that year, as did my focus, outlook and relationship with the Lord.

31 brought a new relationship. 
32, marriage to my best friend. 
33, a new teaching career and motherhood.
34, a second child at the start of the year, and my first pregnancy at the end of the year. 
35, a rerouting of careers from special education teacher to stay at home mom, birth of a son and adoption of our first two. 
37, our fourth child. 
39, her adoption. 
And now, I'm 40. 

Where in the world did the time go?! I look back at those 500 miles of training ten years ago and wonder why I thought that was so tough. No, that's not true, it was tough, but pretty sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere. I learned a lot about myself during that time, and in the years since. I have strength I never dreamed of, the ability to love and be loved, and faith in the One who has known me through it all. 

I said back then that I would qualify for Boston by 35, then I pushed it back to 40 when the family started, feeling like 40 was a world away. After all, I just needed three to four months to train then another few months to maintain to run Boston with a little competitive fuel. I could do that anytime. Then BAM. 40 came a calling.

And to be honest, I'm really not all that worried about the number. 40's not bad actually. I'm pretty sure of who I am these days. I'm ok with those who don't like it and fond of those who do. But what gets me is, when did I stop being one of the youngest in the room, and start being one of the oldest? I'm ten years older than most people who have kids our age, and have watched mom's around my age graduate their children, send them to college and the service, or become grandparents! I'm not 32 anymore and, for some reason, that surprises me more often than it should. 

But, I'm as content as I ever have been. I know what's important to me.  I know what's worth fighting for and what's not. I'm less selfish than I was a decade ago. I'm in love with the life and the family God has given me. And most importantly, I'm not running anymore. I'm digging in, holding on a little tighter and loving a little deeper. I still hope to qualify for Boston someday, but am perfectly ok not putting a timeline on it anymore. God had a different kind of race in store for me and I don't want to miss it. So, cheers 40. "What the what!"