This is THIRTY-EIGHT

“Mama? Guess what?” He starts for what feels like the 800th time. “What?” I say, pleased that my voice, my tone, my heart are all in the right place.

He sighs fully — In relief? In happiness at being able to tell his story? In exhaustion? No, it definitely couldn’t be that because he’s “Not. Tired!” — and begins his tale that seems to be an intricate mixture of Super Heroes and the Lego movie and a book about cakes that he read at school.

Brody had a lovely day followed by a rough night that ended with tears — the big, drop-shaped kind — sliding between his thick lashes and down his deliciously pink cheeks. “How can I help?” I asked, standing by his bed, my elbows leaning against his top bunk, my writing time and his play time both already slipped away, tucked aside for another night.

“Can I lay with you?” He asked, and I not only said yes, but I meant it and couldn’t help but think how appropriate the night’s end and the raindrop-shaped tears and the conversation and that yes were because what I wanted to write about was my birthday and what I know now that I’m newly thirty-eight.

cake

And the first thing that I know for sure is that when you’re gifted the chance to be someone’s soft landing, you grab it and run with it and don’t look back. There’s nowhere — and no way — better.

Thirty-eight is doing less to be more. It’s thoughtful nos and even more thoughtful yeses.

It’s knowing what fills me and depletes me and respecting both, deeply.

It’s stretches outside of comfort zones and free falls into comfort.

It’s loving painted nails as much as fuzzy slippers, a hard lifting class as much as a good book, a night out as much as a night in.

Thirty-eight is not just knowing or accepting or even loving my flaws, my quirks, my idiosyncrasies, it’s also bouncing back from them quickly.

It’s understanding that the only response to falling is: Start again.

It’s softness, in the best ways.

365feministselfie

Thirty-eight is looking in the mirror with more kindness than before. And when that kindness falters, it’s falling back on: Start again.

It’s looking back at old mistakes with minimum cringes and maximum gratefulness.

It’s a few less mojitos a few more cups of green tea. Less talking, worrying, and blaming and more listening, accepting, and accountability.

Thirty-eight is less late nights and more early mornings.

It’s saying thank you to compliments, and stopping there.

It’s understanding the quickness of time, of moments, of right nows.

It’s leaning back onto what I used to teach in my classroom — be kind, be safe, work hard.

My birthday gift to myself.

My birthday gift to myself.

Thirty-eight is realizing that life is a series of choices.

It’s choosing the who and what and wheres of my days.

And looking around at the life I’ve created with nothing short of awe.

Hello thirty-eight, it’s lovely to meet you.

(Incidentally, I started my blog on my 35th birthday so that also makes this a Well hello third year of blogging, it’s nice to meet you, too!)

What is your age about so far?

Thirty-eight is going out for a birthday lunch instead of a birthday dinner wearing a cute new outfit sealed with earrings made out of loom bands.

Thirty-eight is going out for a birthday lunch instead of a birthday dinner wearing a cute new outfit sealed with earrings made out of loom bands.

***

At Everyday Family I asked five women what has been fabulous about being in their 40s. And the words they gifted me are… perfection. Come see for yourself at Why {Almost} 40 is Fabulous.

Birthday posts are a blogging tradition. A few of my inspirations include Lindsey’s and Allison’s.

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Comments

  1. Welcome to 38. It’s quite lovely here. I’ll walk with you in this age through the first week of August when I hit my last year of the 30s. I agree with so much you’ve written here. Things that used to matter don’t and things that should matter do. 38 has truly softened me in so many ways. It’s such a unique place to be and I’m thankful for the perspective that 38 brings.

  2. Saying “thank you” to compliments and stopping there. I like that. 27 is about realizing what I really want to do with my days. Being ok with being a mama, and thinking of my husband & family more. Happy Birthday!

  3. You make 38 sound and look beautiful.
    I look forward to my 38 in about 6 months.
    Happy Birthday and happy 3 years blogiversary!
    xoxo

  4. Happy birthday, you spring chicken! (I hit 40 in August). I love this and relate to so much of it. My favorite line: It’s understanding that the only response to falling is: Start again.
    Yes, yes, and YES. xox

  5. Happy Birthday, sweet friend. 38 was one of my favorite ages. Enjoy it. xoxoo

  6. Happy Birthday! Sounds like 38 and you are really good friends already! Enjoy!

  7. Happy Birthday! 38 sounds less scary than it seems to this 35.5 year old. :)

    I think 35 has been about me – my kids getting older have given me a chance to focus on me again. It’s learning when to fold ’em and when to hold ’em and when to let go and heal.

  8. 38 (any age really) looks so beautiful on you my friend.
    May this year be filled with surprises as wonderful as you are and a faith that you are truly only getter better. (cause you are!)

    love and birthday hugs
    xo

  9. Looks like you had a fab birthday!
    My 42 is a lot like your 38 – it took me a while to get here, but it feels pretty damn good. Especially since I feel I’m in a position now to help my kids with the “start again” a lot better, because they see me do it instead of just talking about it. To sum my 42 up, I think it would be to be true to myself.
    xo!

  10. Happy Birthday, Galit! I passed 38 a few years ago – but it was wonderful. (And so has each year since!) I love that peace and acceptance that come with this time of my life – while still feeling that there is so much to look forward to!

  11. Happy 3d year! Happy 38th year! :-)

    There are many nuggets of wisdom here, as always.

    xo

  12. This post made me smile from ear to ear. Thirty-eight is all those things and more! It’s about FINALLY being nice to yourself, and it sounds like you’re right on track!

    Just yesterday I was thinking about thirty-eight (strange coincidence) and realized that it was a pretty darn good year. I just know it will be for you, too!

    I am not going to comment on 40. Forty was not so friendly to me. But there’s always 41!!

    Happy 38!

  13. Perfection. You make it look oh-so good, this 38 thing.

  14. Happy 38 to you, Galit. I love seeing your smiling face in those pictures. It brightens my day.

  15. I love the part about thanking for the compliments and stopping there. :) 38 is pretty awesome, although I am about to say goodbye to it and embrace 39! We’ll see how that goes… 😉

  16. You make 38 look fabulous! I love all of the things that you said here, and so relate to all of them.

  17. Congrats to you my dear!
    I remember 38 well, I would go back there in a heartbeat xxx

  18. hope you had a wonderful day.
    38 looks just fine!

  19. Happy Birthday! 38 sounds wonderful.

  20. I’ve got seven years on you and I promise…
    it only gets better.

    Happy birthday, blog day, every day.
    XO

  21. Happy late birthday, Galit!

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