Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{On turning 40}

Here I am.

I am here and nowhere else and that is okay.

And if I've learned nothing else these forty years, I am clinging to this truth:

It is this moment, right here, that breathes meaning and substance and contentment into every other moment that follows.
It is this moment that gathers and pulls, like a thread of gold, all the moments hitherto.

And I cannot think of a better fortieth birthday present to myself then to bathe in the glory of that.  

Because what is the rest of my life if I don't have right now?  

It becomes a crazy scramble, is what.  A vain attempt to make sense of the things that have happened to me rather than a gathering of the gifts that have been given to me.

And I'd rather not do crazy any more than I have to, thank you.

I think I will choose to slowly ponder the repast that has been forty years in the making and to recognize it for what it is...
something very good.
I was inspired, recently, by a favorite blogger of mine and the list that she made on her forty-first birthday.  Although I felt like I already "knew" her through her writings, her list filled out the picture more fully.  So, I thought, perhaps, a list of my own might help you to understand me a little more.  I suppose lists are easy and overdone in the blogosphere but it is my birthday, doggone it and I will do what I want to, thank you very much.
Forty Things I Love
1. Early morning quiet
2. that I have managed to figure out how not to kill houseplants
3. my kitchen
4. Downton Abbey
5. photography
6. the first cup of coffee
7. cinnamon-raisin toast
8. the smell of clothes dried on the line
9. this song, on repeat, on my iPod, every day, as I write
10. experiencing epic books, for the first time, with my boys
11. gin and tonics with lots of lime
12. lifting weights
13. crisp mornings that pink your cheeks
14. apple fritters
15. pipe smoke
16. acoustic guitars
17. down comforters
18. Troytinis
19. sappy romantic comedies
20. the French language
21. nursing
22. zinnias
23. taking photos
24. not my feet
25. rooms lit by lamps
26. knitted scarves
27. rainy days
28. the sound of gravel under slow moving cars
29. bacon
30. birds
31. dogs. always.
32. the smell of a freshly mimeographed worksheet
33. and while we're at it, the smell of gasoline (I know, what the?)
34. my family
35. old houses
36. pesto
37. clean windows
38. fireplaces
39. chickens
40. my life

“Middle school is for being like everyone else; middle age is for being like yourself.”
-Victoria Moran 


  1. Happy Birthday week to you, Happy Birthday week to you, Happy Birthday week to yooouuu! Happy Birthday week to you. Love you Holly

  2. Happy Birthday Holly! I thought I was the only one celebrating turning 40 for a week....lol thanks for this blog and for the inspiration to list 40 things I love

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  4. I so relate to what you've expressed here. I'm entering in to the phase of life we call middle-age and I'm not quite prepared for it. It seems strange that I'm not still in my 20's, even though I've found my 30's to be immensely more satisfying.

    Happy birthday to you friend. I hope that you breathe meaning and contentment into every moment of this day.