Good morning, it’s nice to meet you. In order to get off on the right foot, it’s important that we cover a few things, starting with my feelings about you. After observing many of my friends during your introduction, it seems reasonable that you might have a bit of a self-esteem issue. Unlike many of your relatives, you somehow found yourself in the unenviable position of having to stand right next to 40 your whole life. It isn’t your fault and 16, 18 & 21 are rude to pick on you about it.
I have some good news for you. I’m happy to see you. Seriously, we are going to do great things together. You are special. Why? Let me explain. My father died when he was 40. By the time he met you, he knew that he didn’t have much time left. It’s heartbreaking that he died so young & painful to think about all of the things he missed & is missing. I try very hard to be positive & continue to learn from him- from his life as well as the unfortunate loss of it at such a young age. Yesterday I realized the significance of his 39th birthday. He probably wondered if he would make it to 40.
What did I learn from this? I was reminded that I don’t just want to be alive. There is an almost immeasurable distance between simply being alive & actually living. It reminded me of this quote from author Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world.”
I don’t want to just be alive. I want to live.
With a wide open heart.
When I am afraid, I want to recognize that it is an indication of how much something means to me & that I need to suck it up & be brave.
When I feel vulnerable & want to shut down or paste a smile on my face & pretend it isn’t happening, I want to lean into the vulnerability & recognize that I will learn something from it. It might not be pretty. That is ok, I’m 39. I don’t need to worry with pretty. I’m sorry, 39 I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. You may not be as pretty as 25 but you are so much wiser. Yes, I still like you better.
So I want the two of us to have a great year together, as another lesson to learn from Pop. If you ever think I am playing small, feel free to remind me that unlike my father, I still have my health. I still have the ability to conspire with the universe & co-create my life. I am not only still alive, I am living. And I do not want to play small. I hope you are wearing your running shoes & feel like an adventure, 39. Because I’m about to wear you out.
|Pop & me, a few weeks before his 39th birthday|