Turning pages

by Jennifer on October 24, 2008

Hear that sound? It’s 40, rapping at the door, ever louder as each day passes. Not long now – the election countdown marks each day until my birthday (what do you mean, the confetti and balloons aren’t for me?).

It’s not a bad sound, really, that knock at the door.

It’s bit of a relief, even, to turn the last few pages of this decade.

I’m ready to write what comes next, and to fill those pages with good things, for all of us. To look around, get my bearings, and figure out where to go from here, without leaving any breadcrumbs to mark my way back. To know that I won’t return to this same place, and to fill my suitcase with only the most important things, with a carry-on bag of the memories that will sustain me.

To pick the biggest dream and to set my sights on it.

To size up obstacles and step over them anyway.

To be in motion.

There are a few dreams I’m chasing these days, and in doing that, I hope my kids will learn that they should run toward every good thing that they want for themselves, too.

Without self-doubt. Free of voices in their heads that would tell them they can’t do it. Free of fear.


When I hear this song, I think of them. It puts a lump in my throat almost every time.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Milton October 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I love that, that running to everything good.

I picking up my stride too.

Lisa – And I’m cheering for you.


RiverPoet October 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Beautifully written, as always, Jennifer. Welcome to your 40s (almost)! They aren’t as bad as you may thing. 40 is the new 30, or so they say. I didn’t begin to have moments of panic until I hit my mid-40s and started seeing wrinkles and sagging and hints of true age advancement. Most of mine has to do with illness more than age, though, I think. You are going to be beautiful for a good long time.

How could you not?

Peace – D

RiverPoets last blog post..And to think, I just eat it…

D – You’re sweet…thank you.


jenrantsraves October 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

“With a carry-on bag of memories that will sustain me” – I really love that line!

Also, after hearing the song, I listened to a few more, and now I am getting their CD! I made a CD for Dylan before he was born with songs that every time I listen to them, make me think of him. I’m not even a country music fan, but Godspeed by The Dixie Chicks makes me weepy every time!

Jen – I love that song, too! I’m a big softie, I guess. (And thanks, about that line.)


flutter October 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I can only hope I am as gracious, as kind and as HOT as you are when I turn 40…which is just not that far off.

flutters last blog post..Therapy Notes: The one where he just says it like it is

Christine, babe – I don’t hang out with you enough. (Thank you!)


Ducky October 24, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I didn’t have any lines until after I turned 40.

You’re welcome.

I’ll be sure to count them when you visit.

You’re welcome. 🙂


the mama bird diaries October 24, 2008 at 7:21 pm

your birthday is election day? oh, that is a very good omen indeed.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..and so life goes

Kelcey – I so hope that I get what I want for my birthday…


Minnesota Matron October 24, 2008 at 8:21 pm

The Matron is smack dab in the middle of forties and she’s here to report: not bad.

Fifty is the new number to fear.

Minnesota Matrons last blog post..The Matron for Vice President


Jenn @ Juggling Life October 24, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I’m with the Matron–nothing to worry about.

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..BitchHarvest 2008


Lisa@verybusymomwith4 October 25, 2008 at 5:36 am

Isn’t 40 the new 25?

Lisa@verybusymomwith4s last blog post..WW–This grocery inflation is insane 😉


Louise October 25, 2008 at 6:01 am

It’s only a number. It’s one day than the day before. I like the “0” milestones. (Well, maybe I won’t like the next one.) I don’t like the “5’s.”

I hope the day is more fun than you can handle! And I REALLY hope what comes after is mostly more fun than you can handle.

Louises last blog post..Brushstroke Sky — Sky Watch


leendaluu October 25, 2008 at 6:36 am

Oh, girlfriend. I turn *50* the day after election day. 40 was a piece of cake. Fifty is scary, even though I try to not to think that way, I suddenly feel old. But I’m hoping I get Obama as president for my birthday.

Happy day to you.

leendaluus last blog post..


Treasia/TruckersWife October 25, 2008 at 7:51 am

I looked at turning 40 as the time in my life to start thinking about ME. Not 24/7 but lots of the time. A time for me to grow, learn and learn to stop living in the past. To look at the past as what got me to where I was now, to learn from it and move on.

It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I think you will find 40 to be the best part of your life yet.

Treasia/TruckersWifes last blog post..Let the Weekend begin NOW


Treasia/TruckersWife October 25, 2008 at 7:52 am

I meant to ask. Who is that singing? I’ve never heard it and it’s beautiful.

Treasia/TruckersWifes last blog post..Let the Weekend begin NOW


Barbie October 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

oh jennifer, you made me think of my girls with that song. I cried. Thanks and damn you 😉

Stumbled upon you through mediocre….

Barbies last blog post..Mommy Dating


Momisodes October 25, 2008 at 7:45 pm

So beautiful. I’m thinking we may share birthdays around the same time. Only the rapping at my door is thirty *ahem* something. I can only hope my writing will become as rich as yours when I’m staring out at 40.

Momisodess last blog post..PH: Scary


dysfunctional mom October 25, 2008 at 9:29 pm

What a great attitude about that milestone birthday. Turning 30 was very hard for me. But now, at 35, I look forward to 40. My life has changed dramatically in the past 5 years and is better than ever, and I think it’s only going to keep improving. I’m going to ROCK my 40’s!!

dysfunctional moms last blog post..FFFF ~ Interesting….


dysfunctional mom October 25, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Oh and, Happy Birthday a little early! =D

dysfunctional moms last blog post..FFFF ~ Interesting….


Hilary October 26, 2008 at 10:07 am

Oh you’re still a puppy… and a beautiful one – inside and out, at that. You’ll soar right through the next several decades with your accomplishments.

Hilarys last blog post..The Road (more or) Less Traveled


Just Jamie October 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Hope the doors keep opening, and you continue to find new ones to enter. Happy Birthday (soon).

(Great song!)

Just Jamies last blog post.."It’s Like Skipping Straight To Butt-Sex On a First Date"


JCK October 27, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Forties are fabulous. And I’ve heard that fifties are even more freeing! But, let’s not rush things…

You are hurtling fears every day, girl! Go, Jennifer!

JCKs last blog post..I cannot write to please other people


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