As I reflect on the first 40, I feel pretty good. I had a great childhood, full of many wonderful memories, mostly focused on spending time with my family. I went to Europe in high school, and thanks to my disdain for travel, I am okay that I will probably never return.
I had a great college experience at Penn State, where I made many friends, fell in love with hockey, and furthered my devotion to football. Oh, and I got a pretty good education. I also sang "Ave Maria" at midnight mass just after I finished my degree, which was a nice way to enter "adulthood" (that coincided with a broken heart, but I am focusing on the positive).
In my 20s I had a lot of fun hanging out, volunteering, working out, and that sort of thing. I also got my first (and second) "real" job, got married, and earned my first trophies and medals in some 5Ks. There was some love angst in there as well.
In my 30s I did the most significant thing: I became a mom. I traded being self-centered with a devotion and dedication to another human being. Mostly it has been great, but I know I could do better. But, again, I am focusing on the positive. Which is why I don't really want to mention my 30s saw my being laid off, which was devastating to me. But that heartbreak turned out to be a blessing in some ways. The biggest advantage is it has allowed me to spend a lot of time with my child; I can help her with her homework as well as take her swimming, to the park, or to other various activities. I have also done volunteer work, including quite a bit at the school, teaching Bible school at another church for the past four summers.
Currently I am working with kids at an after-school program once a week. Between that, my stuff at J's school, and my subbing, I know I am making a difference in at least some kids' lives on some days or hours. That counts for a lot. At least to me it does.
I like to think that someday I will figure out just what I want to do with my life. But for now, I am content to be a mom (and a wife) first, work with children when I can (both subbing and volunteering), pick up the occasional (which I wish was more than occasional) freelance project, and try to do the right thing and be the best person I can, as honest and as kind as I can.
Now I am heading off to lunch duty. Spending a few hours with kids I genuinely care about (even though some drive me crazy!) is not a bad way to celebrate my day.
Happy birthday to me! Thanks, blogger friends, for being a part of my first 40 years (well, at least the last