My life isn't exactly what I pictured. While I'm in great shape and even took to running half marathons in my 30s, I don't play basketball with my kids because none of them particularly likes that sport. My kids are great people, but they're also normal kids who talk back to their parents at times and tease their younger siblings. Having lots of kids has been more wonderful than I imagined, but also a lot harder than I ever expected it to be. My marriage is strong and healthy and I'm blessed with a husband who is as committed to our faith and family as I am. But we also have a normal marriage where we don't prioritize different aspects of life the same way and we don't always see eye to eye.
Part of me wishes I had some grand achievement to show for my 40th year. I wish I had run more miles than ever before and hit my goal weight. But then I remember: I do have something pretty amazing I worked on all year! I wouldn't trade any other accomplishment for the one I hold in my arms right now.
My body spent most of the year making this little miracle:
And that is better than any kind of trophy I might have earned. Goals are great, but it's wonderful at times to have them interrupted by more important things. I weigh more now than I hoped to at this birthday, but it was for a good cause. And I have a whole year to change my "Fit by 40" goal to a "Fit at 40" one. I'm thinking maybe it's time to run my second marathon?
And while no other goal can really compare to getting Gideon here, I did have a few other new experiences this year I am proud of:
1. I learned how to swim and ran my first triathlon. I spent more hours training for the triathlon than I ever did for one of my halfs, and I did it while pregnant and dealing with morning sickness, so I'm very proud of that accomplishment.
2. Last November, I decided to learn Portuguese. I am far from fluent, but I am very proud of the progress I made. I have completed every lesson Duolingo has and later this month, I should hit a 365 day streak! I need to figure out the next step
3. I took six months of piano lessons, practiced daily, and got much more competent, just in time to be asked to play for Relief Society.
4. In April, my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary.We were blessed to enjoy a nice cruise to the Bahamas and explored the Florida Keys, never thinking that six months later, they would be devastated by a hurricane.
5. This year, I marked the transition to being a mom of an adult child. Lillian turned 18, graduated from high school, and then headed off to college. I don't claim credit for the amazing person she has become, but the fact that she is such a great person gives me confidence that the rest of the kids will figure it out, too.