Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 38. This means I’m very, VERY close to 40. At first that sounds like a big grown-up number to me, but when I really stop and think about it, being almost 40 really doesn’t mean much at all.

Being almost any age means you really only have the number of years you actually are, behind you. And you’ll never know what’s in store for those future numbers until you get there.

The first decade of life is spent learning how to crawl, walk, run, and wipe your butt all by yourself. (okay, maybe that happens a little sooner than 10 years old, but not nearly as expertly as when you’re 11, I’m fairly certain of that)  When you’re that young, you’re happy to be older than the younger kids and wanting to be older like the bigger ones.

The second decade is spent just being weird. Awkward and angsty. Trying to be cool. Believing you’re tricking grown-ups into thinking you’re just like one of them. You think you know what you want out of life and you’re pretty sure it’s going to happen…just the way you planned it… during that conversation you had with your BFF.

The third decade— meaning your 20’s– you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve got it all figured out, even though you actually don’t. You make LOTS of mistakes– bad relationships, too much debt, random jobs, friendships and a few drunk nights that you’d rather forget about.

You spend most of your 20’s looking at the 30 somethings you work with, or happen to be friends with because you’re so mature, thinking, “I should be where they are! We’re all adults! Why don’t I own a house? Have a career? And drive a new car?”

Leading us to spend most of our time feeling like we’re losing at the game of life. (Learn 25 interesting things about me HERE!)

Turns out, there is a HUGE difference between 25 and 35. HUGE! And I suspect that the same thing happens for every 5-10 years we survive on this planet.

Now that I’m almost through my 30’s (and know that I haven’t, and never will have, it all figured out) I realize that I still can’t compare myself to those in their 40’s because, well…they have a good 2-12 years on me! They should have things I don’t have, know things I don’t know, do things I can’t do.

When I look at my life 12 years ago, 5 years ago…even just 2 years ago, I realize that A LOT has changed and continues to change. If I’m lucky, it will never stop changing!

Life is not a process. It’s an evolution. Sure there’s a beginning a middle and an end, but there’s no defined path– and we have no idea when it will actually be over.

Life is full of the unexpected.

When I graduated high school I was certain that I would be a famous actor– someday. I thought that I would marry my high school sweetheart, that we would have 4-6 kids and that I would play Golde in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway when I was 45. (They should be due for a revival about then, so there’s still hope for that!)

In my early 20’s I got married to a guy who was willing to marry me…because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. We never had kids. Turns out, I wasn’t able to get pregnant (PCOS) which is why, now at 38, I still don’t have children. And it turns out, that I’m okay with that. A far cry from the 4-6 I thought I would have!

I was divorced by the time I was 25 and spent the last five years of my 20’s making lots of drunken decisions.

By 30 I had had So. Many. Jobs!

Between 20 and 30 I had lived in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Charlotte, NYC-ish (Jersey City), and Phoenix again– only to move back to Charlotte when I was 31.

In my early 30’s I married Brett, because I loved him. We had 3 foster kids for six months and I worked a job I appreciated but didn’t love.

At 34 I had gastric bypass surgery. Something I never would have imagined. Something that ultimately changed my life.

Now, four years later…

  • I have lost over half my body weight
  • I am a certified personal trainer
  • I have started a successful business that lives in my heart
  • I have traveled all over the country doing races
  • I have spoken at health and fitness conferences
  • I have lived in the same house for over 6 years (a record for me!)
  • I’m still married to my incredibly supportive husband
  • I have been pregnant and had a miscarriage 
  • I am happier and healthier than I’ve ever been in my entire life- physically, mentally and emotionally

What I’ve learned over the last 38 years is that when you take care of yourself, when you put action where your heart is, when you take control of the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t, truly amazing things can happen and age has nothing to do with it!

Some might call it luck, others might call it destiny. I call it life.

Life is an adventure that has so many twists and turns. We’re lucky that we can’t see what’s ahead. If we could we’d only cause ourselves unnecessary stress and anxiety, or deprive ourselves of amazement and awe.

I have no idea what the future will bring and I’m okay with that. I will just keep doing what makes me happy, be prepared for the things that won’t, and be grateful for all of it.

Bring on the surprises of life!

I might ALMOST be 40, but I’ve got a lot to learn and experience in the next 2 years!

I shared this video on Facebook the other day. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you take a few extra minutes out of your day to check it out. <3