Today's craft is a little bit different, I decided to write an open letter on the joy of turning 40 this year. I wrapped it in lace, and it now sits in my lounge room to remind me of how fortunate I am.
An open letter, on the gift of turning 40
Today I received the last of my 40 days of gifts from my family to celebrate my 40th birthday. Turning 40 has, for me, been a lovely opportunity to look back on the last 40 years, and to celebrate a journey of my life so far, and the here and now. It’s also a chance to consider the infinite possibilities of the future and the adventures out there waiting to be grasped.
I am (hopefully) less than half way through a phenomenal life, where I have been fortunate enough to have many opportunities and choices that have led me in many varied directions.
At 25 when I left my corporate job to explore the world, I had no idea what the next 15 years would bring. I felt only that the finance world would destroy my passion and spirit if it were given a chance.
My solo travels began in
the trip of my dreams and the start of a love affair with that continent. It
exceeded all of my dreams and hopes and still holds a place firmly within my
heart. I loved this time of my life, working in the UK,
Ghana and Thailand, with the freedom to go
anywhere I wanted and to follow my dreams.
A spur of the moment visit to a school in Botswana also led to my next dream to become a teacher. This lead to my studies in teaching English as a second language, and eventually my post graduate diploma of education. I loved teaching, making an impact on the lives of young people, and being a part of something important and vital. It was a privilege and I miss it still.
Meeting my husband a few months after returning from my travels was prefect timing. I still wrestled with the normalcy of life back in
Melbourne, and dreamt of
further travel. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew my life was forever
altered. I was lucky enough to meet someone who may not always dream as big as
me, but is always there to support and encourage my dreams, big and small.
Then came our family, first 2 dogs, then 4 children, all of who have taught me more about love, life and pure joy than I ever thought possible. I never imagined myself in this place, with 4 kids, but each one has expanded my heart and mind and continues to do so every day.
Ernie taught me about courage, acceptance, perseverance, and reminded me to look at every day life with the wonder it deserves.
Acknowledging his loneliness when we both worked full time, the decision to get another dog left me wondering how I could love another dog as much as him, but Cookie soon showed me the way. She taught me about resilience, loyalty and determination, with her protective nature and crazy, relentless pursuits.
Liam, my kind and sensitive almost 8 year old, opened my heart in so many ways, such was my love for him from the moment I laid eyes on him. As a baby he always knew when I was sad, and never failed to comfort me. He still does. He is never afraid to walk a different path to his peers, something that fills me with pride.
Juliet showed her fiery spirit from day 1, and her ability to make me laugh has never diminished. She is the funniest person I know, and her passion is boundless. Her heart is huge and her quick temper is evenly matched with an ability to forgive and forget just as quickly. She is open, honest and always full of the highest praise and affection for those who have earned a place in her heart.
Aidan came along and I swear he entered the world with a smile and a scream. He is loud and happy and generous of heart and mind. His unique slant on life makes me laugh every day and continues to expand my heart. He is always first to apologise and take blame, and to slather me with kisses and hugs at random. There is a special warmth and glow about him that makes me happy just to be near him. His quick mind and wit challenge me each and every day, and fill me with love.
Then came Dylan. Who would have thought there would be so many lessons to be learned from number 4? He has shown me even more about how precious life can be, and how important it is to grasp every opportunity to enjoy one another and the moment we are in. He delights in his family, and is passionate about life. He is strong, determined, loving to all who come into his world, and has a huge sense of adventure.
I know I’m a very lucky woman, and for me, turning 40 is a blessing, a wonderful time of celebration. I have a small but wonderful group of friends that a love dearly and am thankful for, and parents who raised me to believe in myself and my future. My brothers are pretty great too, and my mind is full of memories of a wonderful childhood growing up in the country.
If I teach my children anything I hope it will be these things:
- Dream big
- Be adventurous
- Fight for what you believe in
- Find your passion
- Life is miraculous
- Don’t forget to stop and live in the moment
- Celebrate whenever you can
Wherever you are, whatever your age, live, love and be who you want to be.
Here is my letter, wrapped up in lace.
One of my favourite gifts in my 40 days of presents was this one. Balloons lined the hallway and inside were love notes and memories from Mr Crafty and the kids.
And tonight, my last present, and album celebrating the things that I love.