The time has come- on December 4th I will enter my fifth decade on this planet. Since my husband’s 40th is not until March 2020 he is relishing the next few months because during that time I am a decade older than him. I have tried to explain that is not how it works but to no avail. (He also read a draft of this where I said I was entering my fourth decade and said “I don’t want to freak you out but turning 40 is actually the start of your 5th decade!)
So I’m taking stock of my thirties and it is an understatement to say that a lot has happened!
I survived pain that could easily have broken me. I had 3 organs removed, 6 major surgeries, 5 blood transfusions (give blood if you can,) approximately 26 colonoscopies/ whatever you call a colonoscopy when you don’t have a colon, about 40 nights in the hospital, and more than 150 hours in an infusion chair. I had cancer and then got to claim my identity as a survivor.
I watched all 6 seasons of Gossip Girl while on a lot of pain meds.
I struggled with depression and panic attacks.
I learned what loss really means. I experienced the unimaginable depth of grief- how it can tear you apart and leave a hole in your heart that never really goes away. I lost a baby, a brother, multiple friends, and just a month ago a grandfather.
But the last 10 years also allowed me to experience some of my best moments.
I married a man I love and who continues to be exactly the partner I need in this life.
I experienced the joy of having children and watching them start to turn into little people with their own ideas and talents and attitudes (which are getting ever more sassy!)
I found a faith that has sustained me in a real and meaningful way- a personal relationship with a God who always shows up when I need it most.
I discovered strength I never knew I had and that when it seems impossible to keep going – it’s not. Sometimes all you can do is Just Keep Swimming.
I learned that sometimes when something seams crazy it’s just because no one else has thought of it yet.
I took a leap of faith and acted on a call I felt on my heart to help a friend and it has turned into more than I could have ever dreamed. I have gotten to build something from the ground up and see that thing changing lives and taking on a life of its own. In that, I have also found a career that I am good at and is deeply fulfilling.
I am still learning how to ask for help, but at least I can recognize that I need to do it sometimes!
So that was my thirties… I am a very different person now than I was at 29 and I am glad of it.
I never thought I would be excited for 40, but I am. This next 10 years will probably be Super… and Crazy… and that is my Life (See what I did there?!) And I’m grateful for it.
** If you would like to give me a birthday present, I am asking for donations for Mommies In Need. Since I am working on asking for help – here goes.
I have A LOT more fundraising do to this year to finish out the capital campaign for Annie’s Place at Parkland and raise the operating funds to run this first of its kind drop-in childcare center for patients at a public hospital. I want to make sure that our current in-home program is on solid footing so that as we grow we are able to continue to provide free nannies to our moms who are battling cancer and other major illnesses. Any amount you donate is a huge help and if you can share the campaign even better!! My husband is taking me to Mexico for a few days to celebrate and it would be amazing if I got home on my actual birthday to see that fundraising thermometer full!**