Maybe 40 (and Just Write 189)

May 26, 2015

I have no idea what I’m doing.

We don’t get to know.

No matter the Sure Things,
even those have

shaky parts
of mystery
and that is the answer:

Trust the path
with its shards of glass
keep going

forgive yourself.

Maybe 40 is

just a moment
to see you can trust yourself
and your unknowns

even when you cannot,

to know
not know
let it be.

And maybe 40 is
time to forgive yourself for
every big and little thing
that led to pretending
or mistakes
or ego
or having to completely start over


We were just kids, trying to figure it out.

Remember the glaring confusion
in that little you
looking up and around with your
wonder eyes.

Remember how confusing
the ways of the world
and adults seemed to be.

You were right.

You knew
there is very little sense here.

There is a deafening strife
the child easily senses
but can’t comprehend
for the weight of it all.

So we stop.

Denial. Numbing. Addiction. Pride. Self-righteousness. Fear.

Maybe 40 is when surrender comes,
not just an idea
but an action.

Such a startling surprise

That’s me.

I have lived and lived and lived some more.
I cannot say,
But I feel like a kid,
because that’s a lie.

I feel every sorrow and happiness
deep in my core
and they are each
in turns
pulling at these eyelids,
my sore shoulders,

the aching back.

Right alongside me, my body is moving ahead;
we are arriving

and leaving behind.

Maybe 40

is a weariness, yes
and it is a wisdom
that comes with experience,
and grace
but mostly from the stories
of others.

It is thicker than
the languages we’ve been given,
the kind we can hear.

We speak it to each other
as vessels in moments

It is the resolve
in her eyes,
the way his shoulders slump
just a little this way,
the tilt of his head
when listening.

It is all the ways
we are limping along

getting weaker
while growing
more muscle.

We feel it
between the lines
in this middle
where we give each other
with what we know

Here where
we let go
of expecting so much
we don’t need
and giving in to gratitude
for what we thought
we did not want.

People say
She’s an old soul,
and maybe 40
is when it’s finally true.

I know who she is,

part obvious

part mystery,

So maybe 40 is a time to stop
the shudder and the shame,
the denial,
to embrace
it all
and tell the story
with my bleeding feet
on the right path
no matter how many times
it feels wrong.

(I was hidden away at a cabin for my 40th birthday. When you hide away for your 40th you end up thinking about your 40th, but it ain’t half bad.)


This is the 189th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

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{ 1 comment }

Varda (Squashedmom) May 27, 2015 at 9:57 am

Much love to you Heather! Welcome to the COOL side of 40, from someone more than a decade older than you. And (excerpt for the occasional hot flashes) it gets even better after 50, too! Xoxoxo, my friend.
Varda (Squashedmom) recently posted..Is this thing on?

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