Monday, May 08, 2006

Reflections on Turning 40

Today's the Big Day.

A few thoughts:

- Barring a shocking failure of birth control, I'm never having another baby. It's time to lose those 35 pounds accrued over two pregnancies.

- I was painfully shy in my youth. Not so much anymore. Let's see where boldness and a sense of adventure can take me.

- I could live the rest of my life without seeing the inside of a mall again. I need to be on top of a mountain at sunrise; wading a trickle of cool creek at the bottom of a redrock canyon; counting stars above the desert while coyotes yip at shadows cast by the moon.

- I love to dance with my kids, write, kiss my husband, knit, hike, sing, sleep, read, and dream. I will try to do more of these things.

- My mother had one grown child and one teenager at my age. I have a preschooler and a First Grader.

- I hate to wash dishes, lose my temper, speak in public, break a promise, burn the roof of my mouth on pizza, watch the news, ride an elevator, and fail. I will try to do these less often.

- My family gives meaning to my life, strength to my soul, and joy to my heart. They also throw in the occasional raspberry to keep me grounded.

- I want to visit New Zealand, take tap dancing lessons (again), spend time with myself, try rock climbing, teach my daughters to laugh at themselves, learn to snowboard, live in a small town, publish a book of short stories and/or poetry, read Tolstoy in Russian, and grow very very old with my husband.

Forty years in, I think I'm off to a pretty good start!


Stephanie said...

Yay! Happy Birthday, Sharon. I can't wait to meet you at Tin House.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon!

michi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (though a little late)

i hope you manage to fulfill some more of your dreams.

new zealand is well worth visiting, i spent over 2 months there in 1998, and it is magical. actually thinking about going back ... it would be the perfect place for me to live, i think - i love the mountains and the sea, and new zealand has everything, except deserts (but it's not far from australia and that has plenty of those *L*). i did not do tap-dancing, but irish dance, loved it.

good to see that other people think along the lines of "my mother at my age ..." as well. mine had three kids when she was my age (34-and-a-half), one nearly 14 (me), one almost 10, and one aged nearly 2.

m x

David said...

off to a pretty good start indeed!
Happy Birthday!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Stephanie - Thanks! I'm looking forward to meeting you, too.

Myfanwy - Thanks for dropping in and leaving a birthday greeting!

Michi- Thanks for the wishes and the e-card! The only thing about my going to New Zealand is that I don't fly, so I plan on taking a ship (and preferably not a cruise line), which means it'll take a while to get there. But I figure getting there is at least half the fun!

David - Thanks for the birthday wishes and for stopping by!

Arlene said...

Hey! Belated happy birthday, Sharon!! Hope you had a wonderful day. Love reading your thoughts -- and have to say "second emotion" regarding the things you hate to do.

Reading Tolstoy in Russian sounds ultra-cool.


Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks Arlene! Of course, I'll have to learn Russian first... ; )

P. A. Moed said...


Your list of reflections is wonderful. I think (from my experience) you grow kinder to yourself as you grow older and hopefully take time to do what you most enjoy. Have a terrific 40th year! Take your joys and run with them!

Clara Chandler said...

I remember when my best friend turned forty -- she's five years older than I. I teased her mercilessly; gave her a bumper sticker that said "40 Isn't Old - If You're A Tree."

The card I sent said "There's one thing worse than being forty:" and on the inside, it said "Being forty and PREGNANT!"

Yes, I was mean. But Fate returned the karma. I got pregnant while I was forty!!!!

Glad you've made it this far. You're a special spirit, Sharon.


Sharon Hurlbut said...

Patti - Thanks! I definitely feel like this is the time to do and be what I want.

Ginger - Oh, talk about karmic retribution! That is TOO funny. Thanks for the good wishes!