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.

i disagree.

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.

g is for grandma by you.

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. 

black onyx by you.

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.

boston cream pie by you.

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. 😀


10 thoughts on “40

  1. Happy birthday, Tracey ! I’m sure that you will love your forties and i’m happy that you could find a ring similar to the one you loved so much, in the memory of your grandmother


    Your ring is absolutely gorgeous! A true and timeless piece…just like your Grandmother’s. But it’s *yours.* And she would be oh-so proud of you for taking control in seeking your own. Your ring signifies many things in your life…and more yet to come!

    (And the blue sweater?!) 😉

    Bless you, sweet friend!!! We are 40! And it is indeed fabulous! Hugs….

  3. Happy Birthday!!!!!!! Welcome to the FUN side of 40 *s* Hope you have a fabulous day . . . . go out on the town sporting that treasured sweater and your beautiful ring. Grandma would be so happy for you!

  4. Happy Birthday! And what a nice gift to yourself. Good for you for not arguing over who gets what in your grandmother’s estate. I’ve seen some rather unpleasant disagreements in the past. In the end, it’s just stuff anyway. I love the memories you have even though it isn’t the actual ring. Welcome to the 40’s!

  5. Oh you are just a baby! I’m not looking forward to hitting 50 but I did goof my age and I get to do 47 all over again this year! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Oh I could tell you stories about grandmothers things. I SHOULD be living in her house right now. We were all set to buy it, everything set, but of course my oldest sister and one of my brothers kept making comments and convincing my mother we were somehow cheating her out of something by buying the house. Mind you we were paying what she wanted, and eventually GOT from strangers. We would ahve bought with NO changes or upgrades, as is. She ended up selling it for exactly what we were going to pay AFTER putting $25,000 into it because she wanted things to “look ” better. Paint, new carpet, new roof,blah, blah. It still burns me to this day, but we also just threw up our hands and walked away. Today I wouldn’t do it.

  6. I’m a new visitor and what a great first post to read! I’ll be 40 this year and I’ve never been happier. I”m looking forward to 40! I agree that you don’t start to know yourself until your mid-30’s. Its when you start to really know who you are and to feel comfortable in your own skin.

    I love your ring. What a great gift to give yourself! After my great-grandmother and grandmother died I got both of their engagement rings…but i”m the only granddaughter, so it was a given. My grandmother also only had sons and they didn’t want the rings. Lucky for me because I love them and wear them all the time.

    I love the quilts you gave links to. The colors on the first one are so rich; very beautiful! I’m a quilter, too, btw 🙂

    Great blog. I’ll be back!

  7. Hey girl!

    The 40s are great! This year I will turn 50! Your ring is really beautiful and it so nice you did that for yourself. It’s a sad story about not getting the family ring, though. How unfortunate if it ended up in the hands of a complete stranger. My wedding band was estate jewelry from the 1910s and I LOVE it. I often wonder how some family allowed such a pretty piece to leave it’s fold. Maybe it was something like what you described. Hey, I’ve finally taken the plunge and started my own blog. It needs to be prettied up and fine-tuned, but I’m still learning. Stop by if you have a chance…http://www.crazyaboutquilts.blogspot.com.


  8. Belated Happy 40th. I turned 40 in November. There’s something wonderful about 40…I’m enjoying this very much.
    Loving the “home quilt” journey.


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