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Reaching new heights... at 40

This is 40, tough life.I'm not sure what I expected my life to look like at 40.  I'm not sure I ever really had a plan.  Everything just kind of happened as it did.  And before you know it, you've got the kid, the spouse, the dog, the cat, the van, and it's all good.  It's what life at 40 looks like, right?

Maybe I thought by the time I was 40 I'd be doing things like washing my face every night and using eye cream.  Or maybe I figured I'd always have a clean house, like adults do.  Or maybe, just maybe, I'd be running for a political office. Ha! None of those things have happened, and I don't foresee them happening soon.

I do know that one of the things I'd not only hoped for, but expected, is that I'd be able to handle disappointment better.  Disappointment, for me, leads to anger, negativity and sadness.  I know that's normal... but I really did expect that by the time I was this age, that I would be equipped to handle it better.  You know what I'm talking about, you get disappointing news, but just let it brush right by you and go on about your day as if nothing happened.  Maybe you go into Camel Pose on the office floor and it all just floats away, and life is suddenly good and magical and peaceful and full of rainbows and unicorns. Isn't that how most peole handle it?  That's not how it is with me. Welcome to Grumpyville I keep it all to myself, and so easily get so focused on the growing negativity.  It typically leads me into a downward spiral to the land of Grumpyville, where I remain for a while.  Things that I thought didn't even bother me anymore, start to bother me again, and I fill with never ending self-doubt.  Grumpyville is a welcoming place.

Sometimes I didn't even realize that I had any expectations.  I like to think I pretty much take each day day-to-day, always with the hope that it's going to be a good day.  But then, as I've said before, sometimes things don't always go the way you want.  Sometimes you don't get what you want. Sometimes you didn't even know what you wanted.  Sometimes, the most trivial thing disappoints you.  Sometimes, you have to hear news that breaks your heart.  Sometimes you don't even know why you let it break your heart.  Sometimes you didn't even know you had a heart, and didn't even realize how bad you wanted something.  I know it's moments like these where we grow as a person, but facing disappointment and moving on with an open heart takes strength.  Sometimes, I don't feel like I have it, and I want to remain in the land of Grumpyville forever.

Master belayer at work

Recently, I've been going to a climbing gym, for exercise.  To put it simply, it's a challenge.  I often feel like my body is not made for climbing.  That very first time I made it to the top of the small wall, I was so elated. I'm elated every single time now.

Climbing is so scary and so physically challenging for me, but I did it.  Each time we are there, I have to tell myself to go a little higher, reach a new height, even if it's only just one inch further.  It's hard, but I do it. I realized how easy it is to talk myself into trying harder while climbing, but yet also how easy it is to let myself visit Grumpyville in disappointment at other times.  Maybe I should start expecting, at 40, that I remind myself to be grateful for the how far I've come in life, where sometimes it didn't even feel like I tried.  That, disappointment is there for a reason, but Grumpyville doesn't have to always be so welcoming.

I figure I've lived about half my life, officially now reaching middle age - 40!

When your kid has watched cupcake wars too many timesI guess this means I have the next half of my life to learn how to handle disappointment better, inch by inch if that's what it takes. And maybe also, to start using eye cream.  I'm happy to have entered into this new decade of life.




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