This is 39

The secret to aging gracefully lies in defining healthy aging and self acceptance. When women say I’m getting older, they can mean I’m living my best life.

39 is well worn routines.

It’s strong coffee, black, in the same yellow mug, everyday. It’s a daily 5:am wake up call. It’s less snooze buttons and more quiet skies, warm fleece, and many words, all with that mug in hand.

It’s going to bed shortly after the kids do.

39 is my favorite recipes written in the loopy script of my twenties and the messy print of my thirties, splotched with the relics of being put to very good use.

It’s being able to list my favorite books, movies, foods, and drinks without hesitation.

It’s spending less time and money on manicures and haircuts and more on books, coffee, yoga, hours with my favorite people. It’s dreaming and planning and going on one vacation and immediately stepping into dreams of the next.

39 is unapologetic, but relentless, photography.

It’s looking at my inbox, my social media feeds, my texts, my calendar and seeing that I’m absolutely surrounded by strong, smart women. It’s knowing that this is not an accident.

It’s realizing that not everyone will like me, and that I won’t like everyone. It’s understanding that there isn’t any harm in this.

39 is seeing newborn babies with their wafts of hair tucked beneath knit hats, tiny fingers and pinked cheeks splayed on their mamas’ shoulders, knowing that chapter is closed, that story is someone else’s now.

It’s looking at my kids with awe. Loving their senses of humor, excited for their new chapters to unfold, realizing, often, that they’re halfway to less adventures at home and more on their own.

It’s looking at my husband with the same kind of How lucky am I? awe. It’s holding hands, quick apologies, and lots of compromise. It’s laughing the easiest and the longest together.

39 is balancing comfort with edge-skating.

It’s sitting with disagreements because not everything rides on same. It’s finding value–lots of it–in difference.

It’s more listening and less talking.

39 is apple cider vinegar to start off the day. It’s homemade clean soup followed by made-from-scratch chocolate cake.

It’s more curls and less flat irons, more chapstick and less lip gloss, more flip flops and less heels.

It’s noticing insides, my own and others’.

39 is being able to ask for what I need and what I want.

It’s knowing the difference.

It’s thoughtfully picking when to say yes and when to say no–and meaning it.

39 is instinctively enlarging font sizes on screens. It’s green tea. It’s Ibuprofen after hard workouts. It’s choosing hard workouts.

It’s the 30-year-anniversary of a favorite movie from my youth. It’s using phrases like from my youth.

It’s looking at The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire with equal parts nostalgia and parenting eyes (and heart.)

39 is seeing 16-year-olds and thinking they look way too young to drive and seeing 50-year-olds and thinking they’re stunning.

It’s knowing loss, and finding sparkle in the everyday.

It’s not necessarily worrying what others think of me and my choices, but it’s definitely caring how my actions effect others; how I make them feel.

39 is understanding ripples and connectivity and change.

It’s getting good and comfortable with all three.

It’s realizing that most things aren’t about me. That most people are good. That chances to lift others up are gifts.

39 is looking at the mirror head on and accepting what is.

It’s loving birthdays and being grateful for what they represent.

It’s being proud of almost 4 decades of being me.

39 is something to celebrate.


For my birthday, I’m gifting myself this message:

kindness-wins-cover-smallKindness Wins is staying steady as a Hot New Release in Parenting Teenagers. TEENAGERS, omg. It’s on pre-SALE for kindle until April 7th, its real birth-date. On April 7th it’ll be available on allthedigitalthings and in print and right after that is when its price goes up. If a kindle is not your thing, you can get a FREE kindle reading app here and preorder Kindness Wins for any of your devices. Start here: Kindness Wins.


These words:

lindsey-meadThis is 39, or any age, is a blogging tradition, a birthday right of passage, if you will. While many beautiful versions have been written, the originals that pop into my mind are by two of my favorite writers Lindsey Mead and Allison Tate. Read–and fall in love with–their birthday words and perhaps be inspired to write a version of your own. Start here: This is thirty eight by Lindsey Mead and This is (My) 39 by Allison Tate.


And this book:

open-boxes-christine-organI’m in the middle of reading a gorgeous book, Open Boxes, the gifts of living a full and connected life. The author, Christine Organ, places words carefully and beautifully on the page and her message of “tying together the torn and tattered pieces” of our lives is stick-to-your-ribs good. Organ blogs about this topic as well, get lost her words, you won’t regret it. Start here: Open Boxes.

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  1. I love this, Galit. As you know, I love the practice of commemorating a specific moment in time. Your 39 is glorious xox

    • Thank you so much for that, Lindsey. And yes, definitely, your commemorating is (always) my inspiration! xo

  2. I love this, Galit. So beautiful. Aging is all about acceptance of the things we cannot or don’t want to change.

  3. Well, you KNOW I adore this… and I think 39 is going to be a GREAT year. ????

  4. This is fabulous. The line “It’s loving birthdays and being grateful for what they represent.” has me so very excited for my 39th birthday later this year. Side note: I’m also loving Open Boxes by Christine Organ! So good!

    • I so love–and am not in the least surprised!–that we’re on the same page on so many things! Thank you so much for this note, you!

  5. Oh wow. I see so much, SO much, of myself here, and yet feel ever so slightly and ever so beautifully the nearly five-year gap between us. That is, I believe, a testament to how perfectly and precisely you have set forth 39. I smiled and laughed (“from my youth”) and nodded profusely as my breath caught throughout. Your keen and wise understanding of human nature, and how you capture it in words, is simply stunning. (p.s. I greet the world every early morning with my same yellow mug in hand…know I will be raising mine to you out there ;). xox)

  6. I LOVE this, particularly the part where you change handwriting through your years. I’m not sure why I like that so much, but I think it’s because my handwriting has morphed over the years too. It’d be fascinating to do a handwriting analysis on the writing from teenage-hood right on up through now.

  7. Adored every word, Galit. This wisdom resonated with me. Thank you. xo

  8. Galit, I love this. You spoke to my heart since I am also 39. I found myself nodding again and again as you spoke the words that have been in my heart and soul. Thank you.

  9. Happy birthday sweet girl. This gave me a lump in my throat. So much has happened in my life since 39. Rich things. Joys and gut wrenching challenges. You seem to have much more wisdom and self-awareness. xoxo

  10. Then I had at 39. :)

  11. I am now looking forward to 39 in under 6 months! Hope your birthday was amazing.

  12. It’s so refreshing to read this – to celebrate how far a person has come instead of lamenting what once was.

    39 was my favorite year so far. Have a great time this year!

  13. Happy Birthday! This makes me excited to turn 39. I will in July. I really like my 30’s for so many of the reasons above!

  14. Love this.

  15. Loving this account. Wise words Galit and so much love in yout lines. May this 39th year be full of light and kindness!


  1. […] My 35th birthday was a little over a week ago, and I wrote this post to capture a moment in time. I was inspired by Galit Breen’s gorgeous This Is 39. […]