I celebrated 40 years this week and I have to say I was so caught up in it I had absolutely no time to write about it.  In fact I am not even sure I want to write about it.  I am struggling with this milestone.  I mean I am happy to grow another year older and wiser but I struggle with what comes next.  40 years have a lot of hype around it.  Big parties, milestone celebrations and the whole new chapter.  Oprah always said you really understand life at 40.  All of that is a little over whelming for me.

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I told a friend I have decided I am not into birthdays anymore because there is this whole, depend on others to make you happy thing that goes along with it.  The control freak that lives inside my head is not into that.  I like to be 100% in control of my own happiness at all times.  Maybe I take after my Dad who also has issues with the whole birthday celebration.  I am pretty happy most days because I choose to be so from now on I will do the same on my birthday.  I choose happy.

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As for the new chapter, I am looking forward to that.  I do feel a little smarter then I did at even the beginning of the week.  Turning 40 is like a rite of passage.  It allows you to really stand firmly on the ground and believe in what you believe in.  There is no need to look to the person next to you for that nod of approval.  I have 40 years that tells me I got this.  The confidence boost is a welcomed addition to my self esteem.

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I am not sure I have life figured out at this point.  I definitely know a lot more then I did even 5 years ago about life.  I still do not have everything figured out.  The life and death part is kind of on the forefront right now.  This rite of passage brings with it the fear of endings and that is uncomfortable.  Up until now I pretty much felt invincible and now not so much.  In fact I have worried a lot about death over the past week and have pretty much decided I have to live till at least 100.

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Today I had to say good bye to a beautiful person.  Someone who has become a huge influence on not only myself but my whole family over the past 3 short years.  I wrote about my friend Gail a couple months ago.  She remains a big part of our life and always will.  We pretty much can not walk outside without thinking about her and her love for nature.  Gail is getting ready to end her battle with cancer.  She did not loose that battle her body has just decided that it is tired.  Even though I know she is gravely ill right now it is so comforting to know that as I type this she is only a few hundred feet away in her living room surrounded by her family and a lifetime of friends who adore her.  She is exactly where she is supposed to be right now.  As I told Gail how much I loved her and exactly how much I was going to miss her she looked at me with her half smile and winked.  She told me she was good and that she was going to be ok.   Then she told me she would see me when she see’s me.  She will.  I know that.

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My oldest son was sitting next to me so strong.  He took it all in.  Gail hands out love so easily.  He told me later when I was struggling to hold in my tears that Gail is looking death right in the eye and she is winking at it.  What a lady.

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So 40 years, so what.  There is no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring.  The best advice I can give myself is to keep doing what I am doing.  Bonfires, fireworks and beaches this summer.  I can’t look too far in the future because it becomes too overwhelming.  The story is already written.  I just need to remember to keep living and paying attention for as long as I can.

So I am saying Happy Birthday to the first 40 years and cheers to the next 40.

This quote came today from my cousin and his girlfriend.  It sums up my week perfectly.

“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has a meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

Happy Friday friends!  I will be back tomorrow night with a giveaway from an amazing designer SOFT.  You are going to love their designs!

OXOX Katie