final forty.

March 30, 2015

god how i loved my forties. they were gorgeous years, full of knock-you-to-your-knees sorts of lessons, moments of beauty so pure and unexpected it actually felt painful at times, and losses and a sort of internal stretching i wasn’t sure i would survive. fifty is here, i am in it mere days now, but already my forties seem a part of something behind me. the realization last week as i moved away from my forties and said hello to 50 that i had to say goodbye to an entire decade brought up a sadness i hadn’t expected. i am not lamenting 50 – quite the contrary, i see the amazing work women in their fifties produce and i see their beauty and that seasoned sort of grace and knowing, and i feel positively celebratory. mine is a family of late bloomers, especially the women, so i just know know know this will be a decade of kicking ass. but i wrapped my arms around my forties late last wednesday night, just as they were being whisked like a whisper in to my past, and let myself visit for a moment all they took from me and all they brought to me and how strong i am as a result, and then sent them off with my gratitude and humility, in to the atmosphere.

between the pain and the beauty is the myriad of thousands of moments. and for me, in my forties, there were words. words are so powerful, and i am so in awe of what they can carry both as we create them and as we ingest them. i have been looking recently at all the images i have created as a designer these past years, and though they too carry their own power and import and there is SUCH JOYFUL DELIGHT in creating recipes of form and color and content, i have realized that for me, images don’t contain the tenderness that words can construe. through words i have had the fortune of mapping a terribly important journey, the one that encompasses those key elements of a human life lived. love, loss of love, learning to parent and so in turn, selflessness. our life’s work, the success and failure we discover within it, the shift that occurs as we move away from the preoccupations of our younger selves and in to a kinder, more graciously expansive set of priorities. i feel very lucky within this framework.

mostly. i do admit that when maya followed her happy birthday last week with a ‘you’re a half century old!’ i got snagged for a long moment on the coffee i was drinking as i drove her to school. The strangeness of looking back on my time here is just that: i am Looking Back, and my life suddenly seems organized in to clusters of tens. here are some visuals, and trust me, seeing myself at ten year intervals is doing nothing to clarify any of this for me either; i thought of adding a word or words to help us all understand what it all means, but this is as far as i got: 10, 20, 30….














it is not surprising to those who know me even a little that i tend to be a linear thinker, but this strange and unexpected compartmentalization is a lot, even for me.  i just haven’t paid that much attention to numbers, or what they represent. i welcomed my thirties with gusto, and moved in to my forties with a sense of rightness and joy wrapped around me like a delicious cashmere coat. for the first time ever, the numbers side of things is resonating, so i can only imagine this may be an inherent part of moving past this threshold. tina tells me the moon and stars and planets are all where they should be, my houses are in order, and i can breathe deeply and continue doing my work. seahags you know what i mean here. maybe this nickel of decades under my belt is simply here to inspire review, reflection, appreciation. in this wash of look back and a bit of uncertainty, i will go with that.

finally, forty deluxe has been for me a place to process, expose some of my greatest fears and joys, vomit emotionally when the need arose, and find my center among a safe and carefully chosen audience. the fact that this little blog has had over 12,000 hits since its inception in 2009 has me utterly befuddled; for those who have been here without an invitation, i hope you have enjoyed the ride or gleaned something that brought insight or joy. i don’t know that i’ll be here any time soon, or at all, again. seems like it may be time to try on a different sort of blog. so for now forty deluxe, and my sweet friends who visited occasionally, i bid you adieu. until we meet again, whether here, or somewhere else. time will tell.

in the meantime, and to further the poetry of numbers, this is my 50th blog.