In just a few days I'm going to be 40. FORTY. How did that happen?
Whoever said that time flies, wasn't joking around. It feels like I was in high school about half an hour ago and suddenly here I am at an age that sounded light years away.
I have been anxious about 40 since the minute I turned 39 and over the last year I have been through all of the stages of grief. I was depressed, mad, in denial and more than once I have shaken my fists at the sky while begging for time to stop. There were even times where all of that happened at once. I must admit that I have been a mess, but now that the big FOUR-OHH is knocking on my door I think I'm ready.
My most favorite thing about being Jewish is how it calls us to be awake, present and in the NOW. All of life's stages are celebrated, even the ones we aren't excited to see. We are called upon to recognize every new experience as a gift, and are challenged to be full of gratitude. We even have a prayer to keep us mindful and thankful.
The Shehecheyanu is a beautiful prayer, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. If the attitude of gratitude has a king, the Shehecheyanu is it. When I'm feeling uncertain and afraid, which honestly is exactly how I'm feeling right now, I like to say it a few times to myself. It reminds me to say thank you.
It's wild that I'm about to be 40. It's also a miracle. I'm lucky. Forty doesn't have to mean anything, right? I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm certainly not planning to slow down, and I feel more centered, focused and sure than I ever have. I may have even reached the point where I love myself -- a lot. I can't wait to see what's next, and I'm thrilled to have finally reached the age where I can throw open my window and yell, "Hey, kids! Get off of my lawn!"
I think it's going to be OK.
Blessed are You, Our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this moment.