Turning 40: A Retrospective

A year ago today, I turned 40. We celebrated with a huge party for the “1969 Club,” eight of us who all had our fortieth birthdays that year. It was an awesome bash, with nearly eighty people in attendance (and several dogs, too). I love birthdays. Today I’m having a quieter celebration, with family and chocolate cheesecake. I thought I’d write about how it went, this first year of my fourth decade.

Overall, it’s been really enjoyable. For a long time, each year has been better than the last. I’m a late bloomer who was an awkward teen and young adult (no high school nostalgia for me, yuck), and I really enjoy getting older and coming into my own. I’ve had some big challenges this year and much transformation. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Here are some details of what’s been going on.

1. The unveiling of Feline Dreamers. With the release of our new website last month, I’ve experienced positive uplifting feelings as I release my creativity into the world. BlackLion and I had been working on Feline Dreamers for a long time and coming up with lots of exciting ideas. Now we’ve put many of them into place and are on track to add even more Offerings and Wares to the site. The feedback we’re getting is overwhelmingly positive. We’re writing new material nearly every day. It feels terrific.

2. I climbed Mt. Katahdin. I’m not a serious hiker, but I do enjoy climbing mountains around Maine and other parts of New England. This summer, my daughter, sister-in-law, and I climbed the highest mountain in Maine. I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it and for feeling physically strong and fit when I did so.

3. I’m learning to follow my intuition. Someone wrote that our 40s is when women learn not to worry so much about other peoples’ opinions. That’s been a hard one for me throughout my adult life. I like to please people, to keep everyone happy, to soothe and play the diplomat and the hostess. I’ve learned that it’s truly not my job. I’m here to learn and grow and follow my own inclinations. Yes, harmony is positive – and it begins within.

4. My familiar died. Last October, my cat companion Mystick Quickpaw was hit by a car and killed. I miss him so much. We welcomed two sweet cat brothers into the family a few months earlier and they have been a comfort and a blessing. I still think of Mystick every day and wish he was with us physically.

5. I’ve refined my teaching skills. I was excited to student-teach the Elements of Magick class this spring. It went well. I’ve also been teaching and working with some of the homeschooled kids in my community. I’ve learned some interesting stuff over my lifetime and it’s fun to share it. And as always, I think the teacher learns as much as the students, if not more.

6. I’m learning to let go of old patterns and the need for control. The arena for this has been primarily finances. We faced some serious financial issues this year as a family. My reaction to these problems is the key to solving them. You can’t come up with creative solutions when you’re stuck in old ruts. I’ve learned to adjust my own attitude first and then take action from a more balanced and centered space.

7. I lost a dear friend. A close friend of many years, who I thought would be around for the long haul, is no longer in my life. I’m still not sure exactly why, although I think my focus on number three on this list plays a part. Some other friends I thought I was close to have pulled back this year, too, to a lesser extent. I’ve been more inward-focused, which probably has affected the attention I’ve given to my friendships (though the part of me that hasn’t fully learned about my third list item wonders if I’ve simply become annoying). That said, the next list item is about friendship in a positive context…

8. I’ve discovered, and helped create, new spiritual community. I’m part of an Elements Study Group, originally conceived of as a year-long project to explore the elements in depth. The group is rich in wisdom, laughter, and connection. It looks like it will continue beyond the original timeframe and I’m glad. I’ve also been involved in the Red Temple, a new Pagan women’s group, for the past year. It’s been a joy gathering each new moon to share our experiences. Lately I’ve joined in Pagan pub moots and fireside gatherings. Hmm, perhaps my friendships are simply evolving along with my spirituality.

9. I’ve revitalized my dream work. I’ve always dreamed vividly and I have kept a sporadic dream journal for years, recording dreams that are particularly significant. Over the past few months, after reading an excellent book on working with dreams, I’ve rededicated myself to capturing and studying my dreams. It’s proven to be a rich source of wisdom and advice for my daily life and spirituality.

10. I’ve enjoyed my home and family. Because my car was off the road until just recently, I stayed home more this year. I have such an amazing and wonderful family and we live in a cozy home in the lovely Maine countryside. The kids and I have settled into our unschooling life together. My extended family has helped me with love, support, and transportation, and I’m very thankful. I am truly blessed.


Turning 40: A Retrospective — 5 Comments

  1. It truly sounds like your wheels and gears are really turning this year with some exciting things!

    I definately know the challenges faced regarding finances. We want to give enough energy toward recognizing that we have “enough”, and therefore open ourselves to every possibility that will make that appear more substantially in our lives, while on the other hand we still need those bills to be paid! It’s a delicate balance energy-wise.

    As for friends, I can relate to that as well. There are usually some that can be counted on to always be there, and then sometimes we are (strongly!) reminded of the saying about how people come into our lives for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime”.

    It is not always easy to watch people ebb and flow around us, and even harder to watch some of them leave for what seams “for good”. There are times when we can absolutely CHERISH the alone time, and then other times when the absences make us feel a bit lonely.

    I love that you always focus on your blessings, and I find that energy to be contagious! I think it is natural to reflect on the changes that may be sometimes painful – and I think it is neccessary to give things their appropriate mourning period (if you will). And then, the sun shines again, and we step forward onto our path to see where our feet will take us :)

    Love to you and yours ~ Val

  2. Thanks, Val, for all your thoughtful comments. I know you’ve had some difficult friendship situations this year, too. I think change is ultimately good for us. We all change as we grow and evolve. It’s just hard sometimes, in the moment. But yes, I do feel very blessed, and excited to see where the path will lead me (and I’m enjoying the journey). Great to see you this weekend!

  3. Hey! Happy Birthday … a day late ;).

    I think it’s been a very interesting year all around. It’s like the whole world is in a state of flux, and, for me, at least, it’s been more palpable this past year than ever before in my 40+ years. I may be just looking for changes, because I’m sure they’re there, but I don’t think so, and I think we really are in a significant time in history. What remains to be seen is what that will mean for the future ;).

  4. Thanks Wendy! I agree, there’s a lot of “change energy” in many arenas right now. I like Rob Brezsny’s theory that the “apocolypse” or end of things as we know them, is happening at the same time as the “conscious revolution,” as we wake up and begin to change things for the better. :)

  5. Oh, I completely agree! Eric participated in a 2012 Seminar a few months ago and the gist of what they said was that “yes” things are changing, and “yes” perhaps it is the end of life as we know it, but that doesn’t mean the end of the world, and perhaps what’s really happening as that at the same time that we are coming to the end of an Epoch (the Age of Pieces) and moving into a new Epoch (the Age of Aquarius – really!), we’re also heralding in a new consciousness about the world around us. They talked a lot about the 100th Monkey theory, and the reality is that there only needs to be 8000 humans who accept the new enlightment in order for it to catch on world wide. I think we’re getting really close to that number ;).

Tell me what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.