The Big 4-0

Today I’m 40.

Today I’m grateful, excited, exhilarated, reflective, just a little bit anxious, and oh so ready for what the next 40 years has in store.

Today I’d planned to have an amazingly insightful post ready, full of wisdom and witty musings. And that blog post may be somewhere inside of me, but it’s obviously not ready to be written yet. And I have no choice but to respect that. The muse works as the muse works. So instead on this milestone day I have some exciting news and a “top 5″ list.

The Big News

Sometimes the stars align and you can see the universe at work, and that couldn’t be more true in my life these days. I’m thrilled to share that I have a new job! In August I’ll be joining the team at Whole Foods as the Social Media Sr. Program Leader. My passion for social media and community will finally converge with my passion for food in a position that is as close to a dream job as I believe I’ve ever found. I will be working with an exceptional team at a company that is committed to making a difference in this world. The opportunity to be of service to the organization and the community is simply incredible and I look forward to all that I will learn and the new adventures to be experienced.

The Top 5 Things From the Last Decade That I’m Grateful For

I’m not sure what it is about the “ty” birthdays (twenty, thirty, forty…) that makes us put so much stock in them, particularly considering how random our marking of time and calendars really is. After all, I’m only 5.7 years old in dog years so what’s the big deal anyway? Still, now is as good of a time as any to contemplate the gifts this life has bestowed up on me. It’s a humbling process – I highly recommend it as a daily activity, not a once every 10 years activity.

Looking back on the last 10 years I’m especially thankful that I:

  • Had the opportunity to participate in the life of my amazing daughter. She’s beautiful, smart, strong willed, talented, and so very kind. I’m blessed beyond words to be her mother. I can only imagine what I’ll be saying about her when I turn 50. She has changed me for good.
  • Woven a complex, riveting, crazy, and often just a little bit unexpected life partnership with my husband. Who knew when I went to interview for a job nearly 13 years ago that my life would be inexorably altered in all of the ways it needed to be?
  • Started this blog. It’s my creative outlet and my connection to others who are passionate about food. It’s how I channel and celebrate the love of my mother and grandmother. I had no idea that it would lead me to the amazing friends I’ve made in the food community or the non-profit we started this year. Those gifts alone are worth every bit of time I spend on recipes, posts, photos, service providers, style tweaks, and editorial calendars. This labor of love has never been and will never be about clicks and visitors. It’s about relationships and being of service. It’s what keeps me connected and grounded.
  • Made my health a priority. 55 pounds and a half-marathon later, I’m healthier at 40 than I was at 30. I’m a better cook, more informed consumer, and stronger person. If I can run 13.1 miles without puking or passing out I can do anything and I proved that by climbing a wall of ice on a glacier this last June. It’s been a long, difficult, and sometimes frustrating road, but I’m so grateful I found the courage to make the changes that were required to take care of me and for the support of my family as I made myself a priority.
  • Worked with an amazing team to make thousands of people smarter. I spent a decade of my life helping build an enterprise that came to an end a few months shy of this milestone birthday. And while I can look back with some satisfaction at achieving my personal goals, what I will always remember most about my time there were the people I was lucky enough to work with as we made thousands up on thousands of people smarter. I don’t regret for a second all of myself that I invested in that business. I took away learning, relationships, and experiences that have forever changed me.

I’m celebrating these last 40 years for all I am worth because I’m just so very very lucky to have the family, friends, and community that I do. I’m blessed beyond measure and only hope I can find ways to give back to those who give so very much to me.

If I’ve learned one thing in the last decade it’s been that there is no destination, only a journey, and when you stop looking for the end of  the road, the possibilities of this life truly emerge. This quote from Joseph Campbell resonates with me today:

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

I could never have imagined I’d be here at 40, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else. This life that’s been waiting for me is pretty amazing and I look forward to what’s next.

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