Birthdays · Running · self-improvement

Mile Marker 40

I’m turning 40 this week. If that doesn’t merit a pause, I don’t know what does, so I’m going to stay right here for a moment to assess and aspire.

First: assess.

A Handful of Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years:

  • It’s okay to not always be a fast learner. Sometimes you learn a lesson and then promptly repeat the mistake.
  • Sometimes you repeat it again. It’s still okay.
  • Other people truly, sincerely, honestly do not care how clean your house is. Or isn’t.
  • Never underestimate the healing power of a random phone call — whether received or given.
  • You’ll probably repeat that mistake again. It’s still okay.
  • Close friendships save you.
  • Find a way to regularly move your body that makes you feel unstoppable when you’re done. This might take some time, but once you find the way that does it for you, my God, it will be worth it. And — here’s the thing — the way that does it for you can change.
  • How your body looks and how you feel inside it will, frankly, rarely align. Who cares?
  • Read classic literature. Also read ‘Twilight’ and Stephen King and Judy Blume and…oh heck, just read as much as possible.
  • Remember that mistake? You’ll make it again. It’s still okay.
  • Family. Family. Family.
  • Fitness comes and goes and comes and goes. Try to enjoy it all. It’s frustrating. You’ll want to throw your running shoes with great force. You will, one pair of shorts at a time, swallow a nasty little pill called pride and upsize your entire running wardrobe. But in doing so, you’ll uncover a fierce appreciation for certain role models, maybe certain brands, who encompass broader values and messages than anything you’ve seen before. You will uncover a little something called strength. You will think to yourself, Thank God for this.
  • God knows how to love. The rest of us are good actors. (Thanks, Rebecca Wells)
  • Encouraging other people is everything.
  • Do crossword puzzles.
  • Embrace the dawning realization that learning from mistakes is actually a lifelong process.
  • Swing away.

Second: aspire.

A Handful of Things I’d Like to Do in My Next 40 Years:

  • Learn from my mistakes.
  • Make more mistakes.
  • Keep encouraging people.
  • Get better and better at love with every day that passes.
  • Travel more.
  • Get closer to God.
  • Do everything in my power to put and keep my daughters on the right path, and then do everything in my power to back off and let them do their own orienteering.
  • Run at least one more marathon.
  • Collect more stories. Lots more. And tell them.

To my readers over 40: what have you learned? What more do you want to do?

Thank you for reading, everybody. Here’s to the future!

13 thoughts on “Mile Marker 40

  1. Happy Birthday! I’m only 4 weeks into 40, but honestly it’s a lot like 39 🙂 But, I running my second half marathon this fall, 20 years after my first, thanks to your encouragement all those years ago. Thank you!

  2. First, happy birthday. So, now you wanna hear from us old folks…
    1. Go outside and stay there for a while. 2. Keep doing whatever it is you do. 3. Never really retire. 4. Don’t put off what you want to do until you retire. Do it now. 5. Family first. 6. Rule 92 — when you leave a situation, don’t look back. Keep going. 7. Always carry a knife. 8. Travel. 9. Live in the present. 10. Most importantly, keep a full tank of gas and live close to the border.

  3. Happy birthday Sunflower. And I hope you run not just one more marathon, bu many many more. At age 40, I didn’t have the discipline or the time to complete marathon time, so I commend you.

  4. Count the smiles as well as the miles. Run for ever – and when you can’t run anumore, walk! And Happy Birthday!!

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