This summer, I turned 40. I’ve never been one to celebrate birthdays in a big way. I have so many friends who scream about their birthday month, or plan large celebrations for even the non-landmark birthdays (like 38 or 52), but for some reason, that was never me. Rather, in some of the bigger years- 25, 30- in true Joyce fashion, I’ve just reflected a bit, usually quietly, in Chicago, on the lake, over a hot dog watching the fireworks or with coffee on an early morning walk. 40 was no different.
So much has changed since the last landmark birthday. In the last 10 years, Bryan and I have buried both of my parents, both of our dogs. We sold the farm where I’d spent my whole life (at my daddy’s request), and started our own real estate investments, culminating in the purchase and major renovation of our (possibly forever) home. We ran off to Chicago one Christmas and eloped, brought two poofy doods into our lives, and kind of went full circle, farm-wise, starting a massive organic garden that’s fueled our produce consumption.
At 40, I feel like I’m finally an adult. I’m not sure what I thought “adulting” was supposed to be like, but for me, it revolves around Sundays at home; open windows, freshly washed and ironed sheets on the bed, homemade pasta. Our bills are paid, sure, and we have a warm, safe place to lay our heads, and I’m finding that as I grow older, I’m finding joy in the mundane things, like grocery shopping, lawncare, and my weirdly specific and extensive cleaning schedule.
I’m so grateful I’ve made it to this age. That I’m about halfway there with forever (or a day) to go. Life has been such an interesting ride so far- I can’t imagine what’s still to come!
Here’s to 40. Cheers!
** photo by Don Lehman **