birthday thoughts on my 40th!

Happy Monday! Guess what today is?

today is my big #40 BIRTHDAY! I can hardly believe it… so this is what 40 feels like? Who knew? Kinda feels like 30, which felt like 20…I wonder when I will start to grow up!? I wonder when I will go to bed at a responsible hour, and stop eating sweets after 6pm …and I really wonder when I’ll grow up and eat my vegetables and put things away after I use them! Maybe, some things you just never grow out of.

The past couple of weeks, I have found myself focusing on things that I HAVEN’T accomplished (yet) that I thought I would have by now…..  But I realize that is a TERRIBLE line of thinking!  So… if you are falling into that trap as you approach ANY age… STOP! and go back to the scrapbooks!

My mom says she is not a scrapbooker – but I beg to differ. A few weeks ago, she pulled out 2 big beautiful albums that she had made of her first few years of marriage, and my first few years of life.

Just look at this most precious photo—now, I can totally relate to how my mom felt in this shot… me, just days old… her, trying to figure out what she just got herself into! Neither one of us could possibly know what the next 40 years had in store!

I kinda marvel at these photos… my new little life…how cute am i!?

My dad made my birth announcement by carving in a linoleum block, and stamping onto soft mulberry type paper. I was their first. I know how that feels… I know how much they must have loved me! And what high hopes they had for me! It’s so amazing being on this side…40 years later, with children of my own—how clearly I can understand how amazing it is to have a newborn. And all that you dream for her! …

I found myself the other evening pulling out albums… my old journals and stacks of unscrapbooked photos from before the digital days. I lost myself in the memories. While I can remember many mistakes, several regrets…and my share of disappointments… I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the experiences and opportunities that my first 40 years on this planet have given me. I felt grateful that I had taken the time to document my adventures along the way. I LOVE to look back and smile.

Today, on my birthday, I want to thank my mom and dad for doing all that they possibly could for me. And for loving me unconditionally. I want to thank my sweet, wonderful husband Eric- who has been my best friend, and confidant! He is a strength and a peace. I am so thankful for his love, and his commitment to me, and our family! I can’t imagine my life without him! He has just made my last 17 years so much fuN! (crazy! But fuN!) And … I have to thank my kids… I am who I am because of them, for them. They are so precious and important to me. I hope that someday – maybe when they are 40, they will understand how much I love them, and how deeply devoted I am to them…

As for now… I am refraining from setting crazy high expectations for myself going forward! (like I usually would)  and instead…taking some time to reflect on where my greatest joys have come from… and do a lot more of that!

Thanks for all the wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes… happy Monday!

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About the Author : Heidi Swapp

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