I’m not ready.

I graduated from college, got married, had kids. And turned 40 last week. Those things make me a bona fide grown-up, right?

But I’M NOT READY.

The universe isn’t really listening. Laughing is more like it.

Everyone from my husband to a well-meaning aunt tells me that age is just a number and you can’t do anything about it so just keep putting one foot in front of the other and move on. Easier said than done. I don’t know what it is about this new decade. I just don’t feel old enough in my head to be FORTY.

I mean, I vividly remember how the first day of school felt. The thrill of holding my first Cabbage Patch Kid. The rush of driving a car for the first time. The anticipation of my prom date coming to pick me up. More than that, I remember my mom’s 40th birthday. Dad threw her a surprise party, and it was awesome. Surely that was just yesterday, right?

Aren’t I just playing grown-up? There’s no way I’m qualified to be 40. Doesn’t everyone know I have no idea what I’m doing? Am I really the mother of a second-grader? Was that a gray hair in my eyebrow?

These are the thoughts swirling around in my head. Because apparently I don’t deal well with the passage of time.

Time changed the moment I gave birth to Lily. My life propelled from a meandering stroll to a full-on sprint. The days pass entirely too quickly. Lily is going to be EIGHT this year. And don’t even get me started on Sophie, a walking, talking little force of nature.

As agonizing as those baby days were, I long for them in a way that makes my chest hurt.

I packed up baby clothes last month, sobbing in a heap on my bedroom floor. The woman at the donation center had to pry the gigantic plastic tub from my hands. Children are a constant reminder of how cruel time can be.

So many days and hours and minutes are flying by.

Another decade.

I know I’ll get used to it.

I’m so deeply grateful for my life that fretting over a number seems so silly. I’m blessed beyond measure and trying to be aware every single day of how wonderful life really is. Little moments and big ones. The good stuff abounds.

And I can only imagine (and hope for) how much more of that good stuff lies ahead.

Okay, 40. You give me no choice.

Let’s do this.

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