Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reflections of a 40-year-old, Grown-but-not-too-grown Woman: Living My Life Like It's Golden

Now playing on my internal iPod. . . and as the internal iPod theme song of my 40th year on the planet. . . Jill Scott's "Golden". This is sho' nuff where I'm at. . . . aaaahhhh, yes. . . .

*(By the way--the way you determine a song as your internal iPod anthem is if it embodies who you are and ministers to where you're at so much that it moves you to tears, near-tears (for you stoic types), or even the "ugly cry" for all you emotional mushballs out there like me. . .)

Living my life like it's golden. . . .

Today I officially crossed the threshold into the land of the 40-somethings. Wait, I take that back--I technically entered 40,not 40-something--but you get the picture. No mistaking it. I am officially a grown woman.

Here's what my friend and former Grady doctor, Julie J-M. said to me on the birthday card she gave me:

"Welcome. The air is much purer and sweeter up here."

What a lovely way to start a new decade!

I can honestly say that this one will go down as one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Not because of any particular gift or anything. . . .but because of where I am in my head (and my heart) these days. I was able to savor each morsel of this birthday since (now that I am even grown-er than I was before) I have the insight to marvel at all that swirls around my little cloud of life. I see my life with different eyes. I see my patients at Grady Hospital with different eyes. I've come to recognize our existence as symbiotic, and not just about me as some teaching doctor who shows up and cares for them in a public hospital. We need each other. We learn from each other. Aaah, and there is so much to learn.

With all this reflecting and insight-ing has come quite a few "ah hah" moments. (Shout out to Oprah--love the "ah hah" moment.)

At forty, I now know a few things for sure about myself (wait, did I just bite off of Oprah again?)

Seriously, though . . . . here's some things that I now know fo' sho' about 40 year old me:

  • I'm more self aware.
  • I care a lot less what others think about me than I used to.
  • I care a lot more about what others think about themselves than I used to.
  • I am fortunate beyond measure.
  • I am blessed beyond measure.
  • I am a work in progress.
  • I am a friend to myself.
  • I am a friend to others.
  • I'm a great mom and a great wife.
  • I want to be an even better mom and an even better wife.
  • I want my husband and my sons to be proud of me
  • I want my parents and grandparents to be proud of me
  • I want me to be proud of me.
  • But more than that, I pray that God is proud of me.
  • Every piece of love that I spread to others comes back to me exponentially.
  • There's nothing wrong with the "ugly cry."
  • That life is short.
  • That people come into my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
  • That sometimes I'm not sure which category some folks fall into.
  • That the love in my life must always be a verb and not a noun--active and never just passive.
  • That there's nothing wrong with being me.
  • There's something wrong with taking myself too seriously (so I don't.)
  • That I am here for a reason. (Yes, "here" is as loaded a word as it sounds.)
  • And that I'm living my life like it's golden. . .because it is. It so is.

Yeah. . . .I think I'm ready to do this 40-year-old and beyond thing. And so far, Julie was right. . .the air does seem to be a bit purer and sweeter up here . . . . . . .

"I'm holding on to my freedom,

Can't take it from me,

I was born into it,

It comes naturally,

I'm strumming my own freedom,

Playing the God in me,

Representing His glory,

Hope He's proud of me. . . ."

from "Golden" by Jill Scott
(my 40-year-old, internal iPod anthem, that yes, I am in tears after just watching!)

Never take yourself too seriously--me on the day before my 40th birthday. :)

What's playing on your internal iPod these days?


  1. I love that video :) you are rockin' 40! Happy Birthday!!

  2. Happy birthday! I adore your blog, so of course I have much respect and good wishes for its writer. I only discovered it a few days ago but I've been so captivated, I read everything... you have such a way with words and an awesome outlook on life. Thanks for sharing your life and your passions with strangers on the web... ¡feliz cumpleaños!
    saludos desde méxico

  3. Great message...Happy 40th!! That was so inspiring, because I am right behind you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your list of life lessons. As a female medical student, I appreciate hearing that a sense of balance can be achieved while pursuing a career in medicine. Happy Birthday!

  5. I remember that Labor Day 40 years ago. a beautiful little girl with a head full of curly hair. More beautiful to me than you can imagine. Kimberly Dyan not Diane but Dyan. Your Dyan had to be different! You've always made me proud and you continue to do so.
    Much, much, much love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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