Monday, November 1, 2010

Why I'd rather be 44 once than live 22 twice

Ironic that my last post was about how much being 13 sucks. 'Cuz 44 is awesome. I mean, I'm anticipating. I technically didn't come into this world until 8:26 am, weighing in at a hefty 9 lbs., 6 oz. (which I'm sure I mostly carried around my hips and thighs). But so far, so good.

Here's a recap. When we last checked in on my birthday (one year ago today), I was "gainfully unemployed", struggling to get my new business off the ground, in the throes of a new relationship, parenting at warp speed, and very thankful for my friends and family. (See "Happy Birthday to me... I'm 43!")

Some things change, and some remain the same. If it's possible to double my gratitude for my family and friends, consider it being done here. Amanda, Tracie, Frandy, Shannon - we've had a big year, haven't we? Who'da thunk we'd be where we are today - good AND bad. But we're still rockin'... together. Muchas gracias a mis amigos.

As far as my business goes, I have learned and grown more in the past year than I think I ever have in my professional career. Best of all - I did it My Way. :) I scratched and crawled and networked and marketed until I was blue in the face and it paid off. I got to meet the most interesting people and had some of the most awesome writing gigs that I could ever imagine, and it completely reinforced Kennard Communications' motto that "everyone and everything has a story to tell". There will be more where that came from, you can be sure of it.

Call it ironic, coincidence or divine intervention, but just at the height of KC's success I received an offer I could not refuse. So today, my 44th birthday, I embark on a new adventure at a new company that I'm totally jazzed about. I STILL get to do what I love, but that great fear of when the next paycheck will roll in will all but be eliminated, not to mention ridiculously high self-employment health insurance premiums and a lack of contribution to my IRA. Stability is nice. Very nice.

And the relationship? Well, it's been a big year for this single gal. I've had the distinct pleasure to grow with a gentleman who I tried and tried to find something wrong with, tried to push away, tried to tell myself "this will never work". Guess what. Despite my best efforts, it's working. And he's amazing. 'Nuff said.

The parenting? Yeah, it's tough. I knew it wouldn't get any easier, and it hasn't. BUT, I've found support, and new ways of approaching things, and I've learned that there is no one answer, and as soon as you think you've found something that works, life changes, your kid changes, and you have to reinvent your tactics. It's still gut-wrenching, exhausting, and gives me knots in my stomach sometimes, but for every hour of sleep lost, there happens a moment that fills my heart with joy and makes me so incredibly thankful that God made me the parent of these two boys.

So there you have it - me at 44 and not looking back. My stretch marks are my war wounds, my wrinkles referred to as "laugh lines", and every gray hair on my head has been duly earned. And I still think that my mom was right - the 40's are the best decade. So far. And if the promises of this 44th year are any indication, I can't WAIT to turn 50.

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