On Celebrating 40


“May you be blessed with good friends,
And learn to be a good friend to yourself…” John O’Donohue

Today is my birthday! This year it feels especially significant because I get to celebrate being 40. And I feel like celebrating. Not with a big party. That’s not my style. But by being with people I love; by enjoying good company, good conversation, and good food. I want to celebrate and enjoy who I am today.

No one asks to see my ID when I order a glass of wine. That’s okay. I don’t want to look like a 20-year-old. I want to celebrate with sparkles in my hair and laugh crinkles surrounding my eyes. My body has softened and expanded in the last few years and so has my heart. There’s beauty in both.

I am surrounded by people who love me. By friends who encourage me and just like being with me. My children think I’m the best mom in the world, except for the moments when they think I’m the worst mom in the world. And I feel lucky to be their mom. Every day.

I am married to someone who has always made me feel free to be exactly who I am, whoever that was or is.

That’s an incredible gift.

I am convinced that God adores me. And I adore God right back.

And really, that’s Enough. I’m learning to truly believe in Enough. Enough is better than success, isn’t it?

Enough is teaching me, finally, how to be a friend to myself. Not perfectly, of course. Enough isn’t interested in perfection.

But I’m learning.

Learning to enjoy my own company.
To trust in my heart and intuition.
To take pride in the strength and resilience
of my body and mind,
and to appreciate also my soft spots.

I’m learning to welcome my shadows
and celebrate my light;
to deal gently with my vulnerabilities;
and to let myself be loved–
even by me.

I’m learning to belong
in my feet.

I want to be who I am. And
who I am is who I want to be.

That’s a kind of wisdom
I didn’t know at 30.

Hooray for 40!



12 thoughts on “On Celebrating 40

  1. Wonderful! Happy Birthday! Your spirit shines in a darkened world. All my best this year, & the years to come! Here’s to the joy of Enough! 💚 Lucinda


  2. What wonderful thoughts in which to celebrate your birthday, yourself and the God who absolutely does adore you! Love the two pictures you chose. When I look at the picture of your face, these are the things that come to my mind…sweetness, tenderness, a soft loveliness, contentment, peace and grace. May you continue to embrace and enjoy the “who” you are today 😌


  3. At a gathering of friends last night, we were asked to bring an inspirational reading, poem, whatever; I chose to read your words on celebrating 40. They were well received and I wanted you to know. Thank you. Praying a blessing over you, Jess. Love Linda


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