Here are some things no one told me about approaching 40 —
You need quiet time and space.
You’ve spent years rushing time – yearning to hit milestones, putting things into place that create a so called life.
You’ve filled space with friends and laughter and tears and children and family and things collected from thirtysomething years.
And yet, now you wonder — Where is the space for ME?
You feel guilt at first for wondering that, but as you tip toe – quietly at first – into finding some space for YOU (not the kids, not the family as a whole, not your job, not your obligations, not for simply following the rules of what you are supposed to be doing), you realize you can breathe a little differently.
Breaths are deeper, longer, and you realize you haven’t spent much time with this person – the You that sits at the base of all other roles that you play. The You that has the strength to have the roles of wife, mother, caregiver, organizer, planner, do-er, cleaner, remember-er, diagnoser, listener, keeper of the family backbone balancing precariously upon it.
This You is quieter, more still, and yearning to be seen, and when you find the space – no matter how small – to sit with that person, you feel relief.
You are there. You are inside. You are holding up all of the roles, and you are all the things.
Just because You are quiet, it doesn’t mean you are not speaking loudly.
When you take the time and space to visit with You, you find bits and pieces of her throughout all of the roles you hold.
Some pieces glitter like shards of glass in the sunlight, glittering for the world to see but sharp enough to puncture if anyone gets too close.
Some pieces are dull and lack form to the eye, but they are sturdy and essential and carry weight even when no one can see.
And some pop with color – too bright at times when You makes a bold effort at climbing to the top of the skyhigh tower of roles.
But when you’re approaching 40, there You are in all of your glory in the little moments of time and space that you find for yourself.
And you remember that you still have a lifetime left to embrace it.