There are lots of reasons I’m diving into my 42nd year on this planet with gusto. You’re in luck too because I’m going to list them here!
- I like popcorn. Way too much. I eat it for dinner a couple nights a week. Sometimes I eat nachos in bed while watching Friends (just finished the series and oooof am I glad I watched it all over again) on Netflix. Sometimes I cry while I’m eating nachos and chocolate in bed. Sometimes it’s BED PIE while watching Gilmore Girls. I’ve only recently come to be a bed pie connoisseur but it’s already playing a pivotal role in my 40s. I spend a lot of time in my bed reading and watching shows and laughing and chatting with my favorite people. I’m basically turning into my Grammie. Or the Godfather.
- I wear control top underwear. Like generic spanks because those things are expensive. Like, grandma underwear that holds my badass c-section tummy in. But I wear it because I like it. If I don’t want to wear something I don’t. Simple. What I try to show and teach my kids – I wear this because I like it and feel good in it. Some days I wear makeup and some days I don’t. BIG WHOOP. I am just as awesome either way. You are funny smart clever kind always – no matter how you look. I know what I like today. I still love fashion and makeup and trying new things but for the most part I’m secure in what I like and what looks flattering on me. What makes me feel good. I am not uncomfortable and hiding in my own skin like I was just a few years ago.
- My eyes get worse each year but I like to wear my glasses more than I used to. I have home glasses and work glasses and sometimes I wear my home glasses to work and don’t even care.
- I don’t like to show off my cleavage as much as I did 10 years ago. I mean everybody saw my bewbies when I was breastfeeding anyway so who cares. Been there seen that. I’ve become more modest about how short my skirts are. I still like to show my killer gams off though. When I do show myself off, I know it and I am in control. It feels different from years ago when I didn’t know. I didn’t have any idea the power. I do now. Body love and body respect. I’ve achieved some peace here finally.
- I don’t wear high heels to and from the train and walking like I did 10 years ago. I wear sensible commuter shoes. It finally happened and I am thankful. All the ladies in the office kept telling me it would happen and YOU WERE RIGHT OKAY? YOU WERE RIGHT.
- I don’t give a rip that my belly looks like a belly because I was given the opportunity to carry twins to 38 weeks. Whatever I’m wearing, including my swimsuit, my belly is there with me as a reminder of the awesome thing I did to bring these two terrible awful no good monstrous children into the world. BELLY BELLY BELLY. CELEBRATE THE BELLY. RESPECT THE BELLY.
- If I want cake, I eat cake. If I want spinach, I eat spinach. I don’t stress out either way. I eat pretty healthy and it balances out.
- I can walk for miles with a double stroller full of 55 pounds of kiddos and all our gear in the heat or the cold and I can do it uphill and down and I like it dammit. I am up and down and up and down and up and down and a pack mule but mostly just able to play with my kids. The ability to get down on the floor and play with my kids is something I’m thankful for every day. This body of mine. It’s far from perfect, but it’s soft and solid. Strong and tender.
- I can make my husband and kids and friends and family laugh really hard.
- I dole out compliments and kind words as often as I possibly can to those I know and strangers. It feels good. I know that kindness is our most valuable commodity and that it’s afforded me all kinds of experiences that money could never buy. I changed the way I treated others and the way others treated me changed.
- My kids think I’m pretty much the greatest most of the time. Except when they don’t like me but like daddy better because I’m being mean. But well, that’s my lot in life. I’m the one that keeps things safe and keeps things functioning somewhat smoothly. I love this role. Most of the time though, they really like me and I’m nice prerry mama. I’m absolutely positive today I was meant to be a mama and I am so proud of the work I am doing in building these little ones up to be kind. WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT.
- My brother isn’t embarrassed of ashamed of me anymore. Quite the opposite. And I’m funny Aunt Katy to 4 kiddos who never knew the difference.
- My parents beam when they look at me. They beam more when they look at their grandchildren but that’s okay. I GUESS.
- I can walk into any room and know without a doubt that I am just as worthy of being there as anybody else. It may take a minute to acclimate and not act like a giant dork, but the worthiness? It’s there.
- I don’t give even half of a rip if my house is clean. I mean, it’s very tidy and livable in a healthy way, but clean? Nope. We’ve lived there over a year and it was clean the first day we moved in and then it was gone. I just don’t care. I used to get so worried over cleaning the house every time someone came over and now I just don’t care. I just don’t. How many ways can I say it? There are way more important things than a spotless house.
- I like myself today. I want to be my own friend and the messages I send myself aren’t nearly as harsh as they used to be. My mama used to tell me that she would want to be my friend if she wasn’t my mama. I love that. I’d want to be her friend but I get the best deal by having her as my mama. I have female friends today that I have no jealousy or ill will towards. That’s something that in my 20s and even thirties eluded me. I CAN BE GENUINELY HAPPY FOR OTHERS.
- I am more and more comfortable around my in-laws all the time. I didn’t grow up with extended family. Like, AT ALL. So there is a steep learning curve with family being around all the time and so many people at that. But I’m lucky in that they honor my learning curve and I think they like having me around.
- I know who to keep in my life and who I can move on from. I know to choose folks who are kind and positive and I can say no thank you to the negativity and the unnecessary drama. This is a big deal in the self care arena.
- I am pretty damn confident these days in my abilities as a mom. But I also can admit when I need help and when I’m flustered and taking it out on my husband, the bearer of most of my frustrations. I can say I’m sorry and know when I’ve acted like a jerk.
- I can say I DON’T KNOW and NO with absolute confidence today. I don’t need to prove myself to you and I certainly don’t need to give you an explanation. I am capable of so much, but the work-life-writing balance thing is something I’m particularly proud of. I know what is most important.
- I can keep my side of the street clean and not give a rip about yours. What anybody says or does or thinks about me is NONE OF MY DAMN BUSINESS and how freeing is that?
- I have long term sobriety today if I keep doing the next right thing and don’t screw it up. I don’t regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. I get to use my experience strength and hope to benefit others. I have a purpose.
- Even when I eat candy for breakfast and have remnants in my eyebrows all morning with nobody even having the courtesy of telling me, I CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT. I can laugh about just about everything. That’s wisdom in my book.
- The most important thing about 42 is that I know what to savor and what to toss. What means the most and all I would miss if I weren’t here. It’s the good stuff, the little stuff, the intangible moments each day that I used to take for granted. Not a one goes by that I don’t think, WOW. This is awesome.
I look around at my life and I wonder HOW DID I GET HERE and just repeat THANK YOU a million times to the universe and to those who’ve helped me and also, to myself.
I’m glad I survived my twenties even when I tried not to. I’m thankful I got to find myself and real compatible lasting love with my husband in my thirties. I’m grateful I got to create my family and get to be a mom in my forties. Like bricks in a foundation of a house. Our house. Our home.
This 42 is going to be the best year yet. Until 43.
What happened when I learned to love my imperfect self.
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