So today is my birthday. Woo hoo! Went to work, made a few phone calls, sent out several emails, checked out my Facebook page, saw a good friend for lunch and then spent a fabulous evening with my family at a fondue restaurant where we inhaled at least 2000 calories and enjoyed every minute of it.
I have to say, while my birthday was pretty sedate, turning 39 is really a big deal to me. Not only because it's the last year of my thirties, but more importantly, it's time I finally focus on what I wanted to be when I grew up. 39 is all about embracing the fear, fighting off rejection, throwing caution to the wind and doing what you love. In fact, someone recently told me that by the time I hit my forties, that's when I'll truly experience amazing things in my professional life. The reason - I don't care what other people think anymore. I am confident of my abilities, I know my limitations and I know what I do well. I also know that no matter what I do, I want my husband and kids to be happy and not see me preoccupied with work 24/7.
There's a reason why there used to be a 40 hour work week - it was normal. But today, the work day never ends. But all that changes at 39. It's time I start taking a stand. I will stop working on tedious projects and start enjoying life. I'll play soccer with my son and practice catching pop up flies with my daughter. I will start doing all the things I used to love to when I was young. I'm not saying that I'm over the hill at my age but unfortunately for me, I lost my way while meandering along the road to success. Thankfully, slowly but surely, I'm finding my way back and totally enjoying the ride.
Over the last few days I've been watching outtakes from the Women's Conference in Los Angeles and what I've noticed is that women are rallying together in cities across the country to inspire one another to be the best we can be. We are truly capable of anything and even though motherhood can sometimes slow us down, in the end, it has made me stronger and more determined to make sure that whatever path I choose will be one I can be proud of. More importantly, I want my children to see that if you truly set your heart and mind to something, you are capable of great things.
And what major life lesson have I learned in my 39 years? Simple - don't let rejection get you down. If I could visit my teenage self I would tell her to keep doing what she loves. And this year is all about rekindling those shining moments and making them come alive in whatever capacity possible. So if that means a performance on Pinebrook Blvd. rather than on Broadway, then so be it. As I contemplate the next step in my professional journey, I am excited and a little fearful of what the future may hold. But no matter the outcome, I've decided that 39 is the new 16 and anything is possible as long as you realize your lifelong dreams and make them come true.