February 7, 2013

This Is What Forty Looks Like …

Today I am FORTY.

It’s big enough that I decided I should write it in all caps and buy myself a little coconut cake to celebrate.

Forty seems to be a big enough deal of a birthday that people do crazy things like go waste a bunch of money in Vegas or buy an insanely fast car or get a ridiculous tattoo. I am doing none of those things. But I did decide that this birthday needed some sort of big gesture. Instead of a big party (awkward for me) or an exotic vacation (just did that) I decided the big gesture should not be FOR me but instead should be FROM me.

So, I have spent the past month writing forty letters to forty people who have had a strong influence in my life. Choosing to do this has been the greatest blessing to me in approaching this birthday.

Imagine, if you can, thinking about the people who’ve made a difference in your life.  Then think about the effort of taking the time to write each and every one of them, mentioning in detail things they have done that have left a mark on your heart, have truly changed who you are as a person. It is no small task and I just finished the last three letters last night.

When you do this, you become aware of so many wonderful blessings that have been showered upon you throughout your days. You are filled with gratitude for the people you’ve known, the experiences you’ve shared together, the very wonderful gifts they are in your life. You come to your birthday realizing that you want or need for nothing because all that you could possibly every desire has already been given to you by the people God has placed in your path. Love, confidence, humility, humor, charity, hope, empathy, joy – these are the gifts I am talking about. Priceless, precious gifts.

Today, I am forty. And I am at peace with it. If I have forty more years with the people who’ve already blessed my life, plus get to meet more people and receive more of their goodness, I will have lived a wonderful life indeed.

Happy Birthday to me! Forty is the new AWESOME.

18 comments:

Aiketa said...

Samantha, you are as BRILLIANT and AWESOME as can be! You are such an inspiration to me and I believe so many more. What a great idea and it's a win-win. I'm sure you made those receiving your letters so so happy but also, as you mentioned, it made you more aware of the blessings in your life. And you are right, those are the best gift we can ever give each other.

Well, I wish you the happiest of birthdays and that you celebrate it with those you love most all weekend long. You deserve that and much more! And I wish I could pop up in Leesburg for some hours to celebrate with you, what an inconviniece that there's a big ocean between our cities...

I will always be grateful for the day I discovered your blog and because of that I get to know you and the Queen, learn many many things and I am always inspired to do and be better. Thank you so much!!!

Love you!


Apis Melliflora said...

You are an awesome forty year old.

Glad & grateful I'm in and on your path.

Hope you ate most of that delicious looking coconut cake yourself!

Elise said...

Happy Birthday!!
I hope you have a wonderful WONDERFUL day!

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sam. You inspire me and I wish you the happiest of days!!!!

Molly Mack said...

Happy Birthday to you Samantha -- Sweet Sister of my Sweet Melissa! Wishing you the greatest day today...and joy-filled year ahead!

Fondly,
Molly Mack
Bay Village, Ohio

Tracie Carter said...

That is the best approach / idea I've ever heard! I love it and it is also so you! You are fabulous and such an inspiration of choosing to live a beautiful, gracious life. Thank you for sharing this with us. Well done and the happiest of birthdays, big and small to you!

Margy said...

Happy birthday!!!

And what a beautiful & thoughtful way to celebrate. You are such an inspiration. Enjoy your day!

Tarra said...

Samantha- Happy Birthday to you!! I love the way you chose to mark the occasion. It is a daily habit of mine to consider how blessed my life is by all the people God has given me for friends and family--- But what a gift you gave by letting them know it! A lesson and a reminder for me..

I hope your birthday is wonderful. I hope that the gifts of love, empathy, hope and joy continue to flourish in your life. And as much as you have recognized the loves of your life, I hope you take some moments to appreciate how equally and fully you are loved by those friends and family as well.

Blessings to you, today and for the next 40 years! Enjoy your cake. :)

The Queen Vee said...

Dear Samantha, it is a privilege and a blessing to be the mother of such an amazing and thoughtful daughter.

Meaja said...

Happy Birthday beautiful! May you feel extremely loved today and always!!

brendag said...

Happy Birthday Samantha!!!

What a great way to celebrate your birthday!
I hope you were able to sleep in a bit (with the school delay) and the rest of today is wonderful!

The Honey Ducks said...

Samantha, Wow, what a thoughtful gift you have given others for your birthday. Have a happy, happy day, and next year!
Alicia

Emily said...

You make 40 look good! That coconut cake doesn't look bad either. Yum! I hope you have had an amazing day and got my little gift in the mail!?

squeezeme said...

You look fabulous at forty dear Samantha! Your grace and talent for the written word is a gift in my life. I adore you and have spent the day sending you my most loving birthday wishes!

Bells said...

Happy birthday! What an inspiring idea, you are the best! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

AllisonK said...

What an amazing gift! You inspire me. Happy 40th!

Jessie said...

Happy 40th birthday! I'm still trying to get used to the new decade and pretty big milestone myself. I turned forty a couple weeks ago.

What a mature and wonderful way to celebrate your big day. Wow. I went on a little getaway (but not at all exotic) with Adam and ate lots of sugar and did a lot of nothing. You know what they are saying...Forty is the new twenty!! It's a stretch, I know, but how bout we go for the new 30!?!

Heather Lindsey said...

Happy, happy birthday, sweet friend! You are one of those people in my life that make me want to be a better version of myself. I watch you inspire and lift others and it gives me the desire to do the same. So, thank you!

Plus, you look pretty smokin' for 40, way to go hot mama! Love ya!