Yesterday, a very dear friend from Scotland shared this with me when I told her that in lieu of seeing Janet Jackson in concert in NYC last weekend (it was cancelled, due to her pregnancy), I had decided to quietly renew my 2012 vows to myself in a private ceremony at 7:32 this morning:
“It would be highly symbolic and very meaningful to greet the dawn on the day of your birth and pledge your vows. Thousands and thousands of people still gather overnight at Stonehenge every year in order to greet the sunrise on the summer solstice. There’s a long standing tradition over here (though I’m not sure if anyone still does it) of women rising at dawn to wash their face in the May dew to be beautiful. Dawn has always heralded more than the coming day: it is a transition both real and symbolic, something we humans have always understood. So yes, I would absolutely get up early, acknowledge (perhaps even quietly celebrate) your personal transitions for there have been many. Youth to maturity, weakness to strength, darkness to light, knowledge to wisdom, fear to courage. If you consider your life carefully you will see that the list of transitions is endless. Becoming 40 simply means you have entered the prime of your life. A period where health, beauty and strength combine with a depth of wisdom and understanding, affording you a devastating potential to achieve your goals. So yes, rise, greet the dawn, lift your face to the sun, pledge your vows, smile, wish yourself a Happy Birthday and begin your newest transition.”
I just finished that renewal of vows. It took about an hour, on the floor in my bedroom with only the dawn for light, and I not only reread the actual script from the original ceremony, I also paid mind to the practices and habits that I had from 2011 until 2012 that had contributed so powerfully to my longest extended bout of true happiness to date. It occurred to me that I’ve been wandering aimlessly since January 2013. Part of what made 2011 and 2012 so happy was that I had a very, very distinct sense of purpose. So I have renewed my habit of beginning each day by smiling and thinking about what I’m going to accomplish each day and why that is good. And I will resume looking through my intentions at night before I go to bed, chanting my perfect mantra again each night, and explaining to myself why the day has been good and what there will be to look forward to tomorrow.
I have also gotten a bit more specific about what I want and why. And that has helped me to regain focus and direction. Suddenly it seems to me that turning 40 is a blessing. I still have all my physical and mental powers, but I don’t have any of the crippling debt, nor any Narcissists subtly controlling me or undermining everything I do. I spent my 30s fixing the mistakes of my 20s; however, my 40s is the first time I have really been totally free to be whatever I want. There are no limitations, except for the ones I create in my mind. Many people don’t make it this far (I almost didn’t a few weeks ago), so living to become Sporty 40 is not a moment to regret, dodge, fear, or ignore. It’s a time for gratitude, because I navigated to this point where I’m at a fresh start. I’m not just living, not just surviving, I’m choosing to recommence thriving.