“All aglow at the big 4-oh ! “
There is a quote that says “Life’s milestones are not supposed to be counted, they’re supposed to be celebrated”. It has been 2 years since my big 4–0h was full of life’s surprises up’s and downs and through it all I have been fortunate enough to have an amazing family and wonderful friends. This year it was time to celebrate my dearest friend Joey’s fortieth birthday. Joey is a mother, wife, and advocate whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for over 10 years. We started as two young mothers learning about the journey of Autism and how to navigate the Special Education System by the time we looked up tears transformed into smiles, smiles into laughs, and laughter into friendship.
Turning 40 is a symbol of transformation, emerging into a new era, and walking into the path of your future. Weeks up to her 40th birthday both Joey and I were celebrating our children’s culmination from high school, her charcuterie business during graduation season was taking off as I was also preparing for my son’s festivities. She postponed her birthday to concentrate on her business and her daughter’s graduation party.
When the day came to celebrate her 40th birthday we made sure our mom’s duties were free so that she could be the queen of the day. We jumped into the car playing songs from 80’s straight today’s music, a selfie, and off to our celebratory day of fun. We began the day with a trip to Hugh Spa in Los Angeles. Hugh Spa is a Korean day spa for women designed to rejuvenate their health and beauty by all-natural means. We entered the doors greeted by two ladies who handed us our robes and towels preparing us for a day of pampering. I shared words of wisdom that my mother, friends, and loved ones shared about turning 40.
We toasted over a small cup of sake and awaited our masseuse for our massages. We spoke of the life lessons we have both learned on our way toward 40. She spoke of her family and the dreams and goals she is working toward and how amazing it is that God has graced her to see 40 years of age. After an amazing day of pampering, we picked a restaurant called Kalaveras in Los Angeles. Greeted by the hostess I told her it was my best friend’s birthday she gave us a beautiful view outside. We sat down and had a meal, the best part was watching her face as the crew came to sing her happy birthday. I told her to reflect on the things she has overcome, surpassed, and won. I passed down the words of affirmations that we made the day I turned 40 which were:
#1. Accept the things I cannot change
#2. Be grateful to be alive and to have my family
#3. Never give up on my dreams and ambitions
#4. Continue to make lemonade when life gives you lemons.
#5. A piece of chocolate will not break the scale
#6 You are as young as you feel and age is nothing but a number!
#7. For every milestone or accomplishment pat yourself on the back
#8. Life goes on and continues to move forward
#9. People come into your life for a reason, a lifetime or a season don’t get bent out of shape if they ghost you.
#10. Only a handful of people will truly, unequivocally, genuinely care about you. It pays to know who they are.
Celebrating another year is an accomplishment we are blessed to truly see another year of life, family, and friends. Planning out your milestone birthdays is a way of practicing self-care. Whether you are a mom or dad or a regular Joe you owe it to yourself to spend time in peace and reflection. We departed ways but before we said our goodbyes I told her at 40 the best is yet to come so be prepared for whatever lies ahead because the journey is worth the adventure!