The F Word


So…confession…I’ve been lying here. I’m really not 29.  Honestly, I never have been…except for that one time….

Another 2 and a half months and guess what?


Forty. 4-0. Four-oh. 40.

Forty is the new fifty.

At least it might as well be in my head….cause old is old right? Yeah, yeah….I hear all the time, “It’s just a number, Janelle.” “You’re only as old as you feel.” Blah. Blah. Blah.


I have aging issues.  I cried on my twentieth birthday because I was twenty. {What was I thinking???} I’ve never enjoyed celebrating my birthday really in any form but I complied with the wishes of others for years.  I don’t like the attention {especially in restaurants…those singing waiters should be ashamed of themselves for looking so…well…stupid.}.  I’m not really into cake.  As for presents, I generally have everything, and always have, had everything I need.  I’m all for celebrating birthdays…just not mine.  Relax…my kids had birthday parties.  Spectacular ones I might add.

So these aging issues….I’m not really sure where they stem from. {I am sure, though,

that a psychologist would have a field day with me.} I just cannot believe where the time went. How did I suddenly become a woman with three kids, one practically an adult? Where did all the “laugh” lines come from???!???{Oh hell, I can tell you most of ‘em didn’t come from laughter.}

When did Def Leopard, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi become classic rock???

I fight it physically, emotionally, and verbally.  I don’t want to be…gulp…{whisper} forty.


….the other day in my kickboxing class I decided I’m no longer going to piss and moan about turning forty…I’msolyingItotallywill……I’m going to embrace it and be positive and use this as a time to reflect on the wonderful things that got me to this spot I am simmering in right now.

I have to say, I’ve had some fantastic things happen to me…some huge and obviously life changing in the magnificent direction…some small and seemingly irrelevant to some, but for me, extremely weighty.

Since I have this love of lists, I figured I’d kick off my countdown to 40 with one…..alright…maybe two or three…I smell a series already….

40 Fantastically Wonderful and Amazing Things I Have

Managed to Squeeze Into What Seems Like 29 Years….

{In absolutely no particular order.}

1. Babies…three of em.  Three very different and three very wonderful experiences. Three healthy, beautiful, perfect little boys….

2. Parasailed in the morning mist with dolphins following below once in Maui.

3. Traveled across India with basically 3 strangers, spoke in front of a few crowds, held a cobra, saw the Taj Mahal, and got a parasite.

4. Made it through weeks & weeks of sickness, weakness, fatigue, endless blood tests, CAT scans (or was it an MRI??) and waiting to find out I didn’t have leukemia or lymphoma…only to never know what it was that was ailing me….but that was ok….because I healed.

5. Figured out how to recover the last few paragraphs in Word that I just accidentally deleted.

6. Made fantastically wonderful, amazingly incredible apple pie. It’s a secret recipe.

7.  Speaking of baking…perfected my scone recipe and will, with pleasure, share this one.

8.  Finished one of those ridiculous ropes courses meant to teach the art of bonding, trust, self reliance, and letting go of control.  Although there is no order to this list…#8 right here is in the top 10 for sure.  {Read more about it in my blog titled  Now Let Go from a few months back.}

{That so sounded like a shameless plug.}

9. Put my boys in hockey.  We learned as a family that we were also a team.

10.  Ate dog.

{Yeah. Really.}

11.  Sold the ol’ minivan and bought a 1965 Mustang. Oh. Yeah. Call it a midlife crisis if you want…I really don’t care cause I wanted it my whole life and I got it….before I got old.

12.  In the last 18 months, almost to the day, have made 4 of the best friends I’ve ever had…one who is, as cornball as it sounds, my life coach and has given me more confidence than everyone I’ve ever known put together, one who rebuilt my trust in human relationships, one who is my protector, and one who accepts and supports me even when I’m a donut eating fool.

13.  Dyed that (constantly questioned) naturally blonde hair red.  Ironically strangers wonder why none of my children got my amazing red hair…hmmm….

14.  Tracked down the exact spot at the Grand Canyon where a picture of my dad was taken holding me 28 years ago when I was just one year old.  One of the most emotional moments I’ve ever had.

That 29 years old thing not going to work this time is it?

15.  After bout upon bout of depression realize now that it is a part of me but will never consume me.

16. Used an Eastern toilet like a pro. {Google it.} I do advise taking off the large backpack while doing so though.

17.  One word…..Noraebang.

{Its Korean karaoke…yes, I sang in a mic in front of people and I was fantastic.}

18.  Let my mom take care of me again.

19.  Have begun to learn the art of breathing, true relaxing, and letting go.  Yoga isn’t just about gettin’ bendy.

20.  Swam with dolphins, galloped on the beach bareback, let a silly little animal called a cotamundi scamper up into my arms…smiled and laughed each time like the 10 year old girl I would love to be again.

21.  Flew across the world to South Korea alone, breaking the bubble, on a treasure hunt for my biggest little brother.

22.  Got to know my grandmas.

23.  Learned to cook fish.

24.  Kickboxing.  It’s as close to dancing as this girlie ever will get.

25.  Watched my biggest boy move out of state and find a little bit of happiness on the ice again. What a neat adventure…..

26.  Interviewed in a strange city for a job that probably would have changed my life a million ways but didn’t get it.  And I’m kinda okay with that.

27.  Wrote myself into a reality show. {I swear!}

28.  Moved to San Diego.   Changed my lifestyle in at least 5 major ways…what I eat, when I sleep, where I work, who I surround myself with, and how I love.

29.  Allowed myself to learn to let go, to live in the now, to lose control a bit.

30.  Found out I can kinda write and I kinda love it and I kinda need it.

31.  Learned to stand up for me, trust my intuition, and that independence is magnificent and scary as hell.

32.  Discovered that doing “something for myself” doesn’t necessarily mean getting my nails done and going shopping. {Thank Goodness!} It can mean something as simple as…well…climbing that tree I’ve been passing by the last few months.

33.  Took some risks. Broke some rules. {Yes, I totally jaywalked.  Shhh.}

34. Spent many hours with friends over coffee, scrapbooks, and babies.

35. While on safari, sat at the edge of a misty meadow, writing in my journal, surrounded by monkeys while being watched by a fox.

For a moment it truly felt as if the world stood still.

36.  Had my ears rubbed by chubby baby hands.

37.  Accepted that I will probably always wear my heart on my sleeve.

38.  Let my youngest one be the little punk he is…because I know exactly where he got it from.

39.  Laughed and cried and ran through sprinklers in a cemetery on a hot summer day.

40.  Never gave up.  And will always want more….

After writing that…thinking and remembering of all of these amazing things can I really complain about being forty anymore???   If didn’t have all forty of those years under my belt I wouldn’t have all of this good stuff now would I?

Hmmmmmpfff….I feel so wise.


4 responses »

  1. i’m very jealous of the sold the minivan, bought a mustang. i finally got rid of the minivan and got a honda pilot :(. still searching for my mustang on makes 4 sound not so bad…

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