The Best Laid Plans Are Crap

I turned 40 two weeks ago. It seems like I should be marking this occasion with some sort of wisdom or rite of passage. What would that be? The truth is not only do I not feel wiser I actually feel more stupid. 

When you are in your twenties your life is filled with possibility and uncertainty. We all crane our necks trying to peer over the fence into adulthood wondering what it is going to look like, unaware that we are already there.  By thirty we KNOW we are adults and are filled with the confidence and certainty that this self-awareness brings.  We’re married, we have kids, houses, cars, careers and life seems rather simple for those who know how to “follow the rules”.  But the journey from thirty to forty is tough and exhausting. 

At 40 I’ve realized that having a “plan” for life is the silliest most fruitless thing ever. Plans are meant for those who have yet to come to terms with the fact that life is not something that can be controlled.  All the idealistic and optimistic visions of my early thirties have been smacked in the head with reality.  In many ways my life is better, more fruitful, richer and painted with more vibrant colors than I was capable of imagining at thirty. On the other hand I’m also far more humble.  I’ve been knocked on my knees, fallen to the floor and wondered “what next?” too many times during my thirties. I know not to take the good times for granted and that the unexpected tragedy is the other side of the rainbow that fills our lives.

What’s next?

I plan on spending my forties enjoying the seeds I sowed in my thirties. I’m looking forward to watching my children grow up. I want to wallow in my new career as an educator and watch my students blossom.  Most importantly, I’m looking forward to countless evenings sitting with David on our front porch, watching the moon, talking quietly about our kids, our jobs,  and laughing at life.

5 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans Are Crap”

  1. When at the Lady Doctor yesterday, she kept saying things like: “In your forties…, forties are…, you’ll find that forty is….” And I’m all, whoa, lady. Let’s not push it. Forty is WAAAAY off for me. 16 months, 10 days, and 15 hours to be exact. I’m glad I have elders like you to lead the way. 😉

  2. Hi, Beth – I also turned 40 two weeks ago! And…I couldn’t agree with you more. Great post! Thank you!

  3. Happy birthday 🙂

    as a currently unemployeed person i was wondering…did your husband find a new job?

  4. Yes, he actually did find a job within three weeks. It is a tough market though, and he is definitely the exception and not the rule amongst my friends here in Dallas

  5. Happy Birthday! And lemme think……I was 40………….16 years ago! Enjoy your “youth”! Don’t look back, just enjoy today! Last year when I turned 56, my MIL who is 78 said wistfully, “how I wish I were only 56……”
    So to all of us I advise: Enjoy Today!

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