Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This is forty-three

In the middle of November, I received an email from a Babble editor with great news.  They had chosen me as a finalist for the Babble 100 list, and one of only 10 in the “Love and Relationships” category and asked me several questions so their readers could get to know me better.  I read the message four times before I would believe that it wasn’t spam. 

One of the questions was “Tell us about a time that you were happiest,” and I didn’t have to think for long about it before I came up with an answer.  

It’s now.  

I have never been happier in my life than I am right now.  Like most people, I have seen my way through some challenges in my life, but I’ve come out on the other side stronger and better and (hopefully) smarter.  

And today, on my 43rd birthday, I celebrate my happiness, my health, and all of the love, family, and friends in my life.  There are moments of frustration, and anger, and sadness, or even regret, but they pass.  I find that the older I get, the less I regret, and the more I appreciate.

I appreciate that I was almost 39 years old when I had my son.  I am more patient than I was even 10 years ago, I am more content with my life, and I have a better idea of what balance means.  I am a better mother than I would have been as a younger mother.  I have younger mother friends who are doing an outstanding job, and I applaud them for knowing themselves better than I did at that age.

I appreciate that I found a man who loves me unconditionally, and there is never a question in my mind whether or not he will be there for me. 

I appreciate that I have two parents who have been married 46 years and exhibit so much love for each other, my sister, and me.

I appreciate that I have a sister who is my best friend – she makes me laugh and she is my rock and my support. 

I appreciate the friends I have, all over the world; I could not get through life with the same amount of joy without my friends. I have discovered that friendship shifts all the time.  They shift in and out of my life, but that doesn’t mean that the friendship itself has been forgotten. It rekindles and simmers on the back burner and sparks when I least expect it, and it brings so much light into my life.

I appreciate my health and the health of my family members. I can walk, run, jump, and breathe.  Life is so good.

I appreciate that I care less about what people think, at 43.  I’m more confident about my body, my face, my intelligence.  I am not perfect, but I strive to be better all the time.  I want to forgive faster, forget more easily, and be more patient. I want to give more and ask for less. I want to be less afraid. I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend I can be.

Don't let anyone tell you that life goes downhill at 40.  To me, it seems to be getting better all the time.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate every single one of you.  

P.S.  Since this is a birthday theme, take a look at a friend of mine's gorgeous picture book, hopefully printing early next year!  The illustrations are gorgeous and the words catchy and fun.



  1. Oh my friend! I am so happy for you for all of the wonderful things in your life & for your ability to appreciate them. I am at a very similar point in my life. I am happier now than I have ever been & believe life gets so much better after 40. I am overwhelmed & over joyed at the blessings in my life and grateful fo the amazing people in my life who help me get through the tougher times.
    I am so happy to be one of those you count as a friend. I look forward to hearing about the beautiful & brutiful things life brings your way; right here.
    Love to you & wishing you even more blessings. PS - you make 43 look GOOD! JVDM ;)

  2. Happy Birthday to you! It makes my heart happy to read this - got a little teary.

  3. Amazing news! How wonderful to be so happy on the other side, right? Big hug to you. You deserve both the Babble list and, more so, the happiness.

  4. I feel similarly. I'm not 43 but there is this time, right now, with two healthy kids and a house and I feel on the cusp of writing/photography challenges and opportunities, and I feel really happy. Really, really happy.
    Thank you for sharing this, and Happy Birthday!

  5. I can hear the joy in your words. I love that you are so happy NOW. I can also see it in the photos you post, of you and your beautiful family, Kristin. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are getting better every day! xoxoxo

  6. Happy birthday! What a great post and perspective. Cute pic too. Enjoy all that goodness!

  7. I feel the same way as you. This is a happy period in my life.

    Im so glad it is for you too!

  8. You deserve to be happy, of course, and I'm so thrilled that you are.
    Happy 43rd! Love you. xo

  9. Happy Birthday, Kristin!
    I agree, life definitely does not go downhill at forty - I wonder who said that, anyway?

  10. Great news about Babble. Congratulations. And I love this post so much, Kristin. It's heartfelt and uplifting and vibrant and full of gratitude. What a great reflection on life and where you are in it. Happy birthday.

  11. Happy, happy birthday! And congrats on the Babble Top 100. I just entered my 40s this year and, I must agree with you, it's looking good.

  12. I love this post. And I love you. And I totally get the part about having kids later than you expected and knowing it was right. I was 33 when I had Cady. I wanted to have children much younger, but I know without a doubt that those extra years have made me a better momma.

  13. Happy birthday!! I love this ode to right now, which is also my favorite time of my life. xoxo

  14. I know I'm late (as usual) but happy birthday and congratulations, too!!

  15. Happy belated birthday to you and congrats on the Babble list!! I loved reading about your happiness. Beautiful post! It's filled with so much gratitude. ;)


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