I turn 40 on Monday the 16th and it’s close enough that I am counting it.
A benefit to being me at 40: I pierced the cartilage of my left ear yesterday evening, and got a camera tattoo behind my right ear as well, as a private celebration. I am embracing the edge in my personality. No pictures, as they are for me rather than showing off. But at 40 years old, even my mother is not going to tell me not to do these things, even if she may or may not particularly approve.
I wanted a cartilage piercing when I was a teenager. I nearly got it done in a Claire’s once when I was 18. My high school boyfriend at the time talked me out of it. It was probably a wise idea to not get it done at a Claire’s, but there was no harm in having it done properly.
Another benefit to being me at 40: I care much, much less than I used to about what other people think of me. That’s probably the biggest benefit of aging.
Another benefit to being me at 40: there’s 14 1/2 years of marriage under our belt. The newlywed years were turbulent in our household, and now we have settled into being comfortable old married people.
Another benefit to being me at 40: my thyroid levels are finally stable after 4 1/2 years. It’s been stable for over 6 months now, which I’ll take as a big health win.
Another benefit to being me at 40: It took roughly 12 years but I finally have a mental health medication regimen that seems to keep me as stable as possible and mostly present-thinking, less depressed.
Another benefit to being me at 40: We have an incredibly supportive family network and everyone is relatively healthy.
Another benefit to being me at 40: I have long been happy to be a spectator rather than a participant in drama. At 40, I am fast becoming intolerant of drama in other people’s lives as well, so I am currently avoiding it at all costs. It may mean that my social circle is smaller, but so be it.
Another benefit to being me at 40: I found my life’s work in photography and blogging. These two benefits cannot be understated. Photography is part-time profession and full-time self-care.
All of that is plenty to be thankful for. And at a couple of days away from 40, I am very thankful.