many people i know have dreaded this specific year of their birthday. 40 seems to be cursed with the label “over-the-hill” and the general consensus that your fun-loving life you once knew is over. from here on out, you have nothing to look forward to other than aches, pains, gray hairs and hot flashes.
just like so many things in life, it’s all in how you look at it. this aging thing is not a thorn in my side. i have watched many fight the process tooth and nail…but have yet to stop it. instead, i choose to embrace not only another year, but a new decade.
years ago, i read an article from someone who felt that we don’t begin to know our true selves until our mid-30’s. at the time, i was in my late 20’s and i disagreed with that statement; however, i couldn’t agree more now. what i didn’t realize then was that i had all of those ‘layers’ to work through. it was a difficult and painful process, but a very necessary one. it was those difficult times that i learned so much about myself. for so many years, i tried desperately to be the person that others wanted me to be. no more. i’ve turned that corner and i’m not going back.
please don’t misunderstand…i know that i hardly have it all figured out. i know that there will be more ‘layers’ to shed and more difficult times, but at this point, i feel really good about myself and where i am in life. i’m finally getting a clue as to who i am . for me, that’s truly saying something. i’ve never felt this way before, and i could get use to it. 🙂
for my 40th birthday, i decided to buy myself something that i’ve wanted for a very long time. of course there is a story behind it all (isn’t there always with me?).
when my grandmother died over 14 years ago, i was asked by my mother and uncle if there was anything that i wanted before they started pitching things. still numb from the loss, i had to think on it for awhile and later decided that, other than her currier and ives dishes, i would like to have her black onyx ring that she always wore. it was very distinct (large, square stone)and anytime i see black onyx, i immediately think of her. it wasn’t a valuable ring as far as money goes, but one that meant a lot to her since it was a gift to her from my grandfather. he also wore a black onyx ring, but since he died when i was 4, i have no recollection of it. neither my uncle or mother seemed to have a problem with my request and, since no one else had asked for it and the ring had little monetary value, i was left with the assumption that it was a done deal. i was wrong.
in her younger years. the onyx ring is on her right hand.
several weeks later, i arrived at my grandmother’s house. since she had lived in the same house for well over 50 years, the process of cleaning it all out was a rather lengthy one. shortly upon arriving, i noticed my aunt wearing my grandmother’s onyx ring. my aunt made it known that the ring had no sentimental value to her and that she actually found it unattractive. later, i asked if i was allowed to have the ring and was told that they didn’t feel it would be fair. since my grandmother wore very little jewelry, there wasn’t “enough to go around” to all of the grandchildren, so to give it to me would not be right. i was shocked. my grandmother’s estate was worth over half a million dollars. there was hardly a “lacking” of things to be had; however, i refuse to fight over things, so i let it drop. i promised myself that someday i would buy myself a ring that was very similar in honor of my grandmother.
after years of casual looking, i was never able to find a black onyx ring that even came close to what i had in mind. all of the rings i came across were usually round or oval in shape and often had diamonds mounted on top of the onyx. finally, last fall, i found a jeweler that took custom orders.
although her ring didn’t have diamonds, i liked how they set off the black onyx so much so i had them included. even though it’s new, the ring has an antique look to it, i think. i absolutely love it. 🙂 happy birthday to me!
so, what’s a birthday without cake and ice cream? i went all out this year in my selection. everybody knows that calories don’t count on your 40th birthday.
i hadn’t had a piece of boston cream pie for over 20 years and i figured it was about time i changed that. oh. so. good.
today, i plan on spending some time quilting on this quilt. there is also this quilt that has waited long enough to be started. maybe on my 85th birthday, i can show it all finished. 😉 but, for now, i’m just thrilled that i’m 40…and still walking. 😀