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The First Time is Always the Hardest

September 5: A few hours ago, anxious as heck, I sat in the parking lot at my local gym, waiting. On a whim I signed up for a membership last week with some friends and tonight was my first time visiting said gym. We were taking a 30 minute #HIIT class and while I was excited to try it, I was crippled with fear and anxiety. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. My belly gets in the way of everything. I’m not bendy in any way. Like at all! And, I have hip issues. I hate being watched.  My anxiety made me get to the gym 40 minutes early. Scared I’d be late. Scared to show up after the class started. Everyone looking at me. So I sat in the car waiting. Fretting. Beating myself up for letting myself “go” all these years. If I had stayed in shape, I wouldn’t be scared I’d throw up in front of everyone. I fretted until the very last minute before the class started. But knowing I had a friend waiting and counting on me made me move my butt out of that car. Inside the gym, I swipe my pass and I can

Lessons On My 40th Birthday

Me and the Fam!
I have news. A few weeks ago I celebrated my 40th birthday. It was my second COVID/lockdown birthday and I wasn't even sad about it. I'm not a huge birthday bash kind of girl, so not having to break the news to everyone that there would be no crazy party felt sooooooo good. 

I've thought a lot about this post. About turning 40. What do I want to share here to help document this milestone birthday? When my kids look back and read this online journal so to speak, what do I want them to know about what I was thinking on May 11, 2021? And here's what I came up with:

On celebrating my special day:

  • COVID birthdays aren't so bad as an adult. Sure they suck shit for kids (can't have a party, can't see their family and friends, hardly any presents because said parties are a no-no). But for me, as an adult, I understand why I can't party it up with like 50 of my closest friends and family members. I understand that a Vegas trip is out of the question because it's not safe. I get it. And you know what? I'm OK with it. This year has taught me to just slow down and enjoy the little things I normally take for granted during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • My husband and kids really blew me away this year. I woke up to a house decorated with balloons and happy birthday banners, and confetti everywhere. It's the little things that make me happy and melt my heart. The fact that my husband planned this surprise meant so much to me. And I had no keep things a secret when you have kids? That's like NEXT-level parenting. He's amazing.
  • Although I couldn't see my extended family and many of my friends, I still felt so loved yesterday. The calls, texts, Facebook messages, video chats, and surprise socially distanced driveway visits were completely unexpected and honestly, so special. I don't know why the birthday love surprised me. Maybe that's another post for another day (hello insecurities).
  • I'd say about half the people who wished me happy birthday were waiting for an "OMG 40 Sucks!" attitude. They joked about how 40 is downhill etc. etc. You know, the usual jokes we make about getting older. I joke alllll the time about getting older. But the truth is, 40 isn't scary to me. I was excited to turn 40, it's just another year older. And, I hear it's a pretty amazing decade. I'm looking forward to it. Ask me if I'm scared to turn 85....that's a whole other post! No idea why 85 is my "scary age" but it just is.
  • My work family really blew me away with the birthday love. We had a virtual birthday lunch which was so fun and exciting to finally see everyone and connect with them. I was also flooded with happy birthday messages and very encouraging notes about the future, and some notes reminiscing about the last 13 years when I was just a young pup starting my career with the organization. 
  • I promised myself I'd lose 30 pounds by my birthday. It didn't happen. I plateaued after the first 6 pounds lost. BUT I haven't gained. So I'm proud of that. Nevertheless, 2021 is about my health and wellness journey, so starting now I am back on the workout train. 
  • Ok I know I said I don't need presents and I don't. But I can't let this post go without telling ya'll what I was gifted for the big 4-0! I've wanted a MacBook forever. Like we're talking about since before my son who is now 10 was born. But I could never bring myself to buy one. Too expensive. It's a want, not a need I told myself many times. But guess what I'm typing on right now? MY VERY OWN MACBOOK AIR!!!!!!! And guys...hubby really pulled's rose gold. Honestly. Best present ever, I am so appreciative of this gift. I've already told the kids to take their dirty little paws off of it 'cause they ain't downloading any games on this thing. It's all mine. Mom's deserve a treat sometimes too, don't they? Like, an unshareable treat? You agree right? JUST TELL ME YOU AGREE lol.
  • Having low-key birthdays is probably a thing of the future for me. That's all.
  • I'm in love with arugula and prosciutto on my pizza (best birthday dinner ever!).
  • I can't be trusted to remember to turn off the fireplace for the night after having a bottle of wine (oops).
  • I also can't be trusted to be the last one to make sure all doors and windows are locked (thankfully I always remember to turn on the alarm system).
On turning 40...
  • I might be a weirdo but I was looking forward to turning 40. I started my thirties as a very tired, insecure and anxiety-ridden mother. I left my thirties as a more confident woman, mother, and this also leaked into my professional life which feels amazing.
  • I'm working on not sweating the small stuff as much as I did before. It's going to take awhile, but I know I can do it.
  • I never understood the saying "Life begins at 40" but now I get it. My kids are older, they depend on me a little less than they did before, and I've been around the block a couple times, so I have more life experiences to draw upon when a problem is festering around me. 
  • I'm over people's bullshit. You want to be a jerk? That's fine, you do you...but don't expect me to fawn all over you and beg for your attention. I'm too old and honestly, who the hell needs that kind of drama anyway?
  • This whole pandemic and turning 40 has really taught me to try and find the gift or lesson in every moment. Good or bad, positive or negative, there is something to be learned in any situation thrown my way. Even if it's a lesson I didn't ask for or one I thought I needed.
  • I have really started to hate the saying "ageing gracefully". WTF does that even mean? When we get older, we age. Why is there pressure to age gracefully? I say age however you want...reject all lotions and potions for anti-ageing, or embrace them. Reject botox, fillers, and God knows what else there is to magically erase those fine lines? Great! But if you are intrigued and want to go down that road...also great! We have to do what makes us happy. Personally, I'm team anti-ageing lotions and potions that have a dual purpose (to treat my Rosacea) but that's just me. I really think we need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and others/try to change people's beliefs so they side with our own. Let's all just do what works best for ourselves, and don't worry about anyone else.
So there you have it, a few little notes and anecdotes of how I was feeling about turning the big four-o! Can't wait to revisit this in a few years to see if I feel the same! 

Did you (or will you) celebrate a milestone birthday during the pandemic? 


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