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Pushing Forty


Katherine Lynn Charland

When I was young, I remember signing a birthday card with a joke. It stated when you are 10-20 looks old, when you are 20, 40 looks old. When you are 40 what's old? Well now I find myself creeping up on 40 and realizing that it has gifts I've never imagined.

I was never really shy, I was always outgoing. However, in my early 20's I could still get nervous in front of my superiors at work and really good-looking men. I would hold my tongue to often not valuing my own contributions. Somewhere along the way with out even as much as a whisper my insecurities slipped away.

You know all those little idiosyncrasies about your body that seem to plaque women throughout their teens and twenties. Well some how I've made friends with my body along the way. Even my derrière, which I always thought, was to big for my small frame; I've come to embrace as uniquely mine. My black roommates in college used to call it tropical, and my husband and I laughed out loud the first time we heard the song " honkey tonk ba dunk a dunk" Sexuality for women in her thirties seems to improve too just getting better and better as a women learns how her body responds. Need I say more?

Early mother hood has it up's and down's. It is easy to get lost in the experience. I passionately gave myself to the experience of being involved in the creation of new life. It's joys and sorrows and just a lack of sleep make it easy to loose site of who you are beyond the experience. Even your grown up conversation revolves around diapers and little JR's newest trick. As my little ones develop into their own persons and become more independent, I'm relishing the ability to spend time developing my own interests again. It feels like a gift.

Yes this body has gotten older. I love it and respect it for its ability to successfully bear three children. It may not be exactly the way it used to be, but I've come to love it for its abilities, instead of criticizing it for its shortcomings. So here I am pushing forty and loving it in ways I never imagined.

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