"Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever." - Walt Disney
Today's the day. It's the big one. And in the interest of full disclosure and complete honesty, I have to tell you that it's a day I've been anticipating with a less-than-enthusiastic response for a while now (ask any of my friends and they can tell you I've been whining about it for like the whole past year).
Yep, it's my birthday. The big 4-0. Now to some of you 20-somethings that probably seems really old and to others it's not a big deal at all, but for me, it's been a hard age to wrap my mind around. I know they say "age is just a number" (and I have friends who have embraced that number and tell me I should be excited about it) but for me, if I'm honest, that number has been a difficult one to accept. I think that's in part because I still feel (and dress and often act) much younger. (On a side note, my husband actually told me recently that he thinks I need adulting classes so apparently the whole acting younger thing isn't just in my head!) And I think my struggle with aging also stems from the fact that I often feel like I haven't accomplished enough or that I'm just not where I should be in life by now, especially emotionally and confidence-wise (anyone else ever feel like that?). And then I think another part also derives from the fact that when you work in the fashion realm, you're often surrounded by people who do have youth on their side. And as best I try, in this social media age where youth and beauty are especially highly praised, it's hard for me not to compare myself with that 25-year old who has no wrinkles, no gray hair, very little emotional baggage and a few extra years head of her now than I do (I know that's silly though and I'm working on it I promise!).
Of course, when I really think about it, it's such a ridiculous thing to worry about, the idea of getting older. After all, it happens to every single one of us. And it's put in perspective when a friend reminds you that there are many people out there who are dealing with illness and for whom 40 isn't a guarantee. And they encourage you to be grateful to have reached this milestone and to wear your age as a badge of honor (Thanks Steph for always reminding me what's important and giving me tough love when I need it).
Then there's my husband (yes, he happens to be a really smart guy) who reminds me often about Maslov's Heirarchy of Needs which basically says that when all of your basic needs are taken care of (food, water, shelter, safety etc) and then some, that's when you have the unfortunate luxury of worrying about the things that really don't matter like aging (and I'm not proud to say it, but I'm definitely guilty of that on a pretty frequent basis). So when I get a big zit, or notice a new laugh line, or I find another gray hair or I don't get as many "likes" on my photo as I'd hoped, I have to catch myself and stop and remember that those little things are meaningless measures and little inconveniences that need to be forgotten in lieu of focusing on, and being grateful for, the things that really do matter, like my faith, family, friends, health.....you get the picture.
So now at age 40, even though I still often struggle with insecurities and don't love all the changes that come with getting older, I will tell you that I am trying to accept myself more, to be grateful for the fact that I've reached another milestone, to appreciate my life experiences and realize that I am stronger for the things I've been through and the challenges that I've overcome in the years I've been given. (And there have definitely been a few.... maybe over coffee one day, I'll tell you more about them.)
And in thinking about this birthday, I did something I really love to do.....I looked up positive quotes relating to the topic at hand, ie.getting older. (PS. Here's something you may or may not know about me: I love quotes. I love the power of words to encourage, inspire, challenge and make you think deeply about something. And as a former journalism major....and an incessant talker....words are kind of my thing.)
In doing this search, I came across a great article from the Huffington Post from a few years back called. "11 of the Smartest Things Anyone Ever Said About Getting Older" and I loved it, so of course I had to share!
Here are just a few of my faves:
"You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis (Since I started my company just a few years ago and also recently started blogging, this hit home for me...It's a reminder that I'm not too old to pursue something I love! And on the flip side, you're really never too young to do the same.)
"Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again." - Eleanor Roosevelt (What a great reminder! I've been so focused on getting older with no thought to the fact that I'm the youngest that I'll ever be again and that, as such, I should take advantage of my health, my brain, my talents etc. and use them now to the best of my abilities.)
And of course the Walt Disney quote above.... because don't laughing and imagining possibilities just make you feel young?
I've included the Huff Post link below if you want to check out all 11 quotes.....they spoke to me so maybe they'll encourage you as well, regardless of your age.
So when I start worrying about those little fine lines, feeling old, comparing myself with younger bloggers, designers, or girls in general and thinking, "oh my gosh, I'm literally old enough to be her mom" (and yes I have done that on more than one occasion), I'm trying to catch myself and think about the fact that I'm lucky to be 40, that you're never too old to dream, that laughter is timeless, that laugh lines are actually the measure of a life well-lived (although I'll still admit that I'm not really accepting wrinkles gracefully) and that self-acceptance is a beautiful thing and I'll get there eventually.
Ok now that I got that all out of the way, I'm off to celebrate the start of my next decade! And it's gonna begin by popping the champagne, eating great food, talking, laughing and being grateful for another year, for my family and friends and for the opportunity to do what I love. Because those are true gifts in themselves.
And of course, when you're the birthday girl you have to dress the part! And since I decided I'm not too old for tulle, I had to go with this adorable graphic tee and tulle polka dot skirt, both from T & J Designs! Love the feminine look and festive, party-ready feel of this skirt....plus the glitter polka dots literally leave a trail of glitter wherever you go so no one's gonna forget you!
Here's to sparkly skirts, champagne toasts, celebrating in style, keeping things in perspective, accepting yourself (and your age) and making the coming year the best one yet!
PS. To celebrate my birthday and thank you for your support, I'm doing a big 40% off sale site-wide at http://www.peachandpepperapparel.com/ (and on any other available p&p items you may have seen on IG or FB...just email or message me if there's something you've seen that you just have to have!) from now through Sunday night, Jan. 22 at midnight with the code BDAY40 so go get you some leggings or another p&p item at a big savings!