Last week I turned 40.
In a very dramatic and wasteful fashion I spent a good amount of time this year dreading the sequence of those two numbers in my life. I had a sort of overwhelming feeling that I may turn into a pumpkin at midnight or something like that. Turns out I’m still here, not much has changed besides those numbers and all is well.
Worry is such a shame.
And while it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride approaching my banner birthday, in divine timing I was reminded that things, whether it be birthdays, events or even your worries are truly what you make of them. So, while I’ve spent months dwelling on the things I’ve yet to experience in life, contemplated yet another career change and fixated on the increasing aches and pains in this aging body, I was forgetting was incredibly happy I am.
To the many precious friends and family who made celebrating another year in this world a little sweeter, I’m so thankful. I have been showered with love and gifts and cake — three cakes to be exact, and I’m not mad about that.
In birthday celebrations my favorite guy and I planned a little weekend getaway out of town. We were looking forward to it to say the least. A relaxing trip with little responsibility sounded like the perfect way to enjoy ourselves.
On Friday, we packed bags, got gas and set off for a bigger city. We arrived, we saw the sights, we had the dinner and people watched well into the night. We were scheduled to stay until Sunday. On Saturday morning we were discussing the day’s plans and I was thinking to myself how much I’d really just like to do a little shopping and go back home. I was also thinking how strange that was to have that feeling, considering we were on a weekend trip with no responsibilities and here I was craving home, the very thing we’d ran away from.
Out of nowhere my favorite guy said, “Or we could just pack up and head on home.”
Did he really just say that… Was he reading my mind?
“I really want to,” I immediately blurted out. “I was just scared to say it.”
Sealing the deal, he said, “lets go.”
We didn’t waste another second doing what we’d planned or what was scheduled. Instead we grabbed our bags and made our way home. We grabbed breakfast, did some fantastic Christmas shopping along the route home and got in with time to snuggle up with our pets on the couch.
Several times throughout the day we found ourselves laughing at the decision we’d made to leave early and head home. We talked about our perspective on happiness and how we really didn’t even need weekends in a bigger city.
I think turning 40 for me has been mostly a lesson in perspective. But then again, I find most things can be handled with a little perspective.
I can choose to focus on the fact that nearly every morning I have to stretch and lather in biofreeze, or I can thank God I woke and I’m mobile. Everyday, every breath is a gift and if we don’t get our thoughts and our mind right we’re wasting that gift.
Let’s not spend our gift in worry, complaints or ugly. Find what makes you happy and do it.
And if by chance you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, pack your bags, it’s never too soon and it’s never too late.
Angela Turner is a columnist and contributor for The Times-Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com.