Almost there now… 40

At the end of this week I finally reach that big milestone – turning 40. I have to say earlier in the year it caused me to think a great deal about goals, where I’ve got to and where I expected to be – as well as courting some unhealthy comparisons with those around me. But, now it is almost upon me, I’m not so phased by it. So many others I know and admire have turned 40 this year, and embraced it fully. After all, it is but a number. Having said that, I can now see 50 within my reach – and that seems terrifying! 😉 But I’m not planning any fanfare celebrations. Just quietly turning a year older. And hopefully wiser…

This week has too many other focuses for me. The first time my daughter will be going to Brownie camp (that’s what I’ll be doing on my birthday – driving her there!). It’s been an emotional roller coaster to get this point so I know I’ll be doing a lot of praying, and missing her, over the weekend. My son has also been given his class for full-time school in September. He’s been split up from his best friend. So that’s another emotional milestone I’ve been dealing with. So 40 doesn’t seem so important anymore. It’s all about perspective. But, I’ve decided I must do something on here to mark the fact that I’m turning 40. So I’m going to spend a bit of time ‘googling’ my mind on the subject (for an explanation of what this is, please see my earlier post on the Association of Christian Writer’s 40th anniversary day here). Hopefully some of it will strike a chord with you. Here goes:

40 is the new 30!
Not so bad – not looking forward to 50 though!
I can’t believe I’m here already, it only seems like yesterday that I turned 30… But wow, a lot has happened in the last 10 years. Would never have thought my husband would be running a church for starters! We were barely hanging on by a thread then – it’s amazing to think about God’s faithfulness to us.
Reaching 40 and 20 years married. Wow I actually have been around quite a while now.
Shouldn’t I be wiser by now? More confident?
What do my kids think when they look at me? Am I the sort of mum they can be proud of?
I’m not sure I’m anywhere near where I expected to be at this point in my life.
Why haven’t I achieved as much as some of the others who’ve turned 40 this year?
I wish I’d celebrated being younger, fitter and slimmer rather than hiding away in my shy little shell.
Comparing myself to my younger friends is hugely dangerous.
Will I ever get back to that smaller dress size, or is this it now? Weight is so much harder to lose these days.
I should be happy in my skin by now. An extra bit of weight isn’t all that bad – I’m still well within the healthy range for my height.
I want to enjoy life – and that includes all the yummy food that is out there. Is weight so important? Why do I put so much emphasis on how I feel about my body? What is that teaching my daughter?
I should have been a better wife – I wasted a lot of time struggling with my situation rather than being grateful.
I wish I had cultivated the art of being thankful a lot earlier.
I have a lot of dreams I’m still working on, but God has also taken me to so many places I never expected. I’ve been stretched and used in ways I never thought I would – He has been amazingly kind to me.
I want to help release others into their giftings, celebrating them rather than feeling threatened. I hope my character and personal hang ups don’t get in the way of other people.

All I can say is God has blessed me, and kept me, through many happy moments and huge trials too. I’m hugely grateful for my life. Just walking along to the library after school today with my kids and husband I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s grace. I can’t believe I get to partner in this life with such a great guy, and have the privilege of bringing up such wonderful kids. What’s 40 to me? A chance to reflect, perhaps re-focus, but, more than that, remember to be grateful. It’s too easy, in the busy-ness of life, to forget to do that…

7 thoughts on “Almost there now… 40

  1. Fran says:

    40 …. now, can I remember that? Yes, just …. I was all grumpy and said I didn’t want a party, but everyone ignored me, about 20 people turned up, and we had the biggest Indian takeaway I’ve ever seen in my life. It was fabulous. It’s good to get ignored sometimes.

  2. Helen Murray says:

    I don’t know where to start; I know exactly what you mean on so many of these points. We’ve had friendship issues this year with my two daughters, we’ve had separation anxiety and angst about fitting in, and I’ve lain awake at night wondering what sort of mother I am and what their worries say about the way I’ve brought them up.
    I am terrible at comparing myself with others – they’re thinner, they’re younger and happier, their kids are better behaved, they said it already and said it better than I ever could… I too thought I’d be somewhere different by now, but I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other and let God take care of the route I’m taking. I’m pretty sure he has it covered.
    Thanks for sharing this. Those ‘Me too’ moments are precious!

    • clairemusters says:

      Ah thanks for your comments Helen – it is nice to know we are not alone isn’t it? But thank God for His grace – He’s got our kids covered. I think often we just need to learn to relax. I was talking to a friend today about how often the issues our kids face are harder for us than them. They can be adaptable, whereas we worry for them, and also re-live some of our own angsts from when we were growing up through what happens to them!

  3. passporttobliss says:

    Hi Claire! Lovely post. I, too, am turning 40…in exactly 1 week! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and remember this milestone with happiness and great memories! 🙂

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