So… you may not be aware, but I had a monumental birthday three and a half weeks ago. I turned 40. Let that sink in.
That’s right; 40. Over the hill. Lordy, Lordy, Amber is 40. The whole shebang. I was expecting to immediately fall apart, but other than a decline in my vision, which has been in the making for months, the only other side effect of being 40 is intelligence and awareness. I am having ephiphanies right and left. I am feeling downright wise.
Last Saturday night my closest gal-pals and I gathered together to celebrate my birth with attendance to the Bruno Mars concert. We planned months ago to celebrate with this concert, which felt like a big deal, as the tickets were exhorbitant. When we arrived to the Staples center we found our seats by climbing to the very tip top of the arena. The seats were at a frightening altitude; the stage was just a distant square. Everyone knows that the giant screens are the saving grace at a concert. They allow you to really see the performance, even if you are sitting afar. You guys. Our. seats. had. a. side. view. of. the. screen. A side view. The stage also had a covering, so if Bruno traveled too far to the right we saw his ankles or nothing at all. I had an ephiphany. I’m not doing this anymore. If I am going to spend a ridiculous amount of money, I’m dang sure going to see the artist. Who knows how much of Bruno’s brilliant butt-shaking I was unable to see. The next time I attend the concert I plan to see the artist without my glasses or a screen.
Ephiphany 2 hit me a few days later. What I have is enough. God is never going to stop teaching me about patience; it seems that this is his favorite lesson for me. I wish I were able to request something different, but as we know His plan is not our plan. I am always being made to wait. He probably figures that if he stops making me wait for things I will immediately start a huge list of demands. This second ephiphany came with a little self-chastisment. Amber, I told myself, there is no such thing as should. For sooooooo long I was held up on the way I thought life should be. I should be a stay-at-home mom. I should be able to take a vacation or two every year. I should have a house, not a condo, with a big backyard for my children. I should have success more quickly with the desires of my heart. So I grow impatient in waiting for these things. I get frustrated and throw myself a pity-party. I can make God an entire Google Slides presentation for why my children should be living somewhere else. And you know what? All of those things I want are wonderful, desirable things, but that does not mean that I should have them. Could it possibly be that God has me right where he wants me? Uh, duh. Could it be that I’m supposed to live in a condo in a “developing” neighborhood? That I’m supposed to continue my work as a teacher? That it may take some time to grow a following and earn myself a book deal? (I’m not giving up on my dreams y’all!) When I sat myself down and gave myself a stern talking too I was reminded of what I do have. A home of my own. A revived love for my job. Positive feedback for my writing. I am reminded that when I wait for something it is that much sweeter. So I will continue to try to be patient; and to practice being thankful every day.
My final ephiphany hit me this morning during “morning me time.” It is this: I have everything I need right here in my husband and kids. That might sound obvious, but what I mean is this. I invest a lot into my friendships. I think of friendship as a strength of mine. I am very devoted and thrive off of that interaction. However, I often feel like I am yearning for more. I love my friends so much that I want more of them, and more time with the ones I have. But this morning I thought Amber, your husband is your friend. Your children are your friends. You can get all of the satisfaction that you need by investing into these people that are yours. Being a mom is my utmost privilege, but it comes with it’s share of frustrations. Snuggling up together to watch World of Dance is a treasure. Riding on Pirate’s of the Caribbean together is a treasure. Playing a game of Yahtzee together is a treasure. Passing the volleyball with Jordan. Shooting hoops with Jaxon. Placing my millionth order with Shia. These are the moments that I can initiate. I have everything I need right here. That doesn’t mean I’m going to dump my friends; it just gives me the permission I need to be satisfied with what I have.
Clearly age is sitting well on me. When I was 18 and 19 I thought that turning 40 was the most ridiculous thing. My friend Rese and I figured that at that point we could just turn on the crazy and hang up our hats. Wear sequins from head to toe, and start grabbing the early-bird buffet. What I am realizing now is that being 40 is not so bad. It’s a lot like being 39, or 38, or 37; except now I am the smartest person in a room with myself. The best is yet to come.