On November 27, I turn 40. As I've mentioned before, I don't enter this new decade unwillingly or terrified. Instead, I'm running toward it. Embracing it. But still, I'm bringing with me much reflection. Some enter with a bang. They decide to do something grand. Some really large something to make a difference for them and perhaps someone else as well. Like a charity run...even more meaningful if they've never run before. Well, I'm not a runner and I don't think the time to start would be when I'm turning 40 since I'm already realizing I've got extra aches and pains in the mornings after laundry day from carrying those loads of laundry up and down my one flight of stairs. No, I won't be running. As a matter of fact, I'm not going to use the day to impose some sort of great meaning to this milestone. However, I will be reflecting on all the wonderful things the past 40 years have shown me. For now, here are 5 things for which I am forever grateful...
1. The memories I have of a yearly vacation to the Isle of Palms with my family and the fact that I now live just minutes from where that house stood. (Hurricane Hugo took her away but the memories are ever-lasting.) These trips began for me when I was in a crib and ended when I was in college.
2. Knowing I inherited my mother's looks and metabolism and my father's sense of humor and personality. My mother is very attractive and it is a good feeling when I catch a glimpse of her in my mirror. And, the fact that I've never had a struggle with weight is due to her genes. But, it was my father who taught me to not worry about every little thing and just be. And, for sure, he taught me that humor makes life more enjoyable.
3. My marriage. We've had 16 years of wedded bliss...or at least "blissish." It would be untrue to say it was always a walk in the park. But we were both committed and worked through the hard times and are happier today than any time in the almost 21 years we've been together. That's a great feeling.
4. My children. Jonathan, Porter and Millie give me reason to awake every morning. Hey, someone's gotta feed them! Watching Jonathan grow up, just about to enter his teen years, is challenging yet rewarding. Keeping my eye on Porter, trying to come up with new and innovative ways of teaching him right from wrong, keeps me on my toes and makes his hugs and "I love you"s even sweeter. And, waiting to hear what funny thing Millie will say next is a great way to turn a not so good day into the best yet.
5. All the travels I've been so lucky to take. Nova Scotia; Quebec; Montreal; St. Martin, FWI; Disney Cruise; Honolulu; Maui; not to mention a plethora of American cities! But the most rewarding trip had to be to China (Beijing, Changsha, and Guangzhou) to adopt Millie. What a beautiful country, people and event.
I know as the years continue to pass there will be more and more to join this list. And, honestly, I could have added more today but this entry was already long enough.