This year, I turn 40…

2009 marks a major milestone in my life… This is the year in which I will hit the big Four-Oh. Yep, 40 is just around the corner…

I gave not a moment of thought to turning 21 (hell, I’d been drinking for a few years already, and that included out in bars) and I didn’t get “carded” until I was well into “legal” drinking age. And, I had a baby before I was 25…

Turning 30 didn’t make me even bat an eye…though 35 brought a few pangs of “wow, where has life gone so quickly?”

The time between that moment, when the realization that youth has left and been replaced by maturity, and now, has been both a whirlwind and a blur… It has magically somehow passed in the blink of an eye, while seeming to take an eternity…

I have a kid in high school.

Strangely, that was a shocker.

I do enjoy the fact that those who meet me now would never guess my age. But I also see reality in the mirror each day.

The hair requires a bit more frequent touch ups than it used to. The skin care regime has changed focus from clearing up breakouts to preventing wrinkles.

And I look at my hands, at my features, and for the first time in my life, I see, really see my mother in me – instead of just the whispers and hints I saw before.

I look in the mirror and see the shadows of the girl I was, but I don’t mourn her passing.

She’s still there, but she’s all grown up now. Life has taught her some valuable lessons, some quite painful, others quite pleasant…For a while, she was missing, in hiding really.

Yep, this year I turn 40, and I’ll proudly admit it.

I’m not “39 and holding” or any other cutesy phrase. I’ve been around the block a time or two and I’d like to think that in 10 years, I won’t be looking back at my 40-year-old self and wondering, “what was I thinking?!”

It’s been a few years of some drastic changes in life, and I expect this year will bring about even more drastic changes.

I expect this year will change me…for the better.

Approaching Mile Marker 40 – and it’s been an interesting trip so far, I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend!