This Is My 39

Thirty-nine is well-worn routines.

It's strong coffee, black, in the same yellow mug, everyday. It's a daily 5AM wake-up call. It's less snooze buttons and more quiet skies, warm fleece and many words, all with that mug in hand.

It's going to bed shortly after the kids do.

Thirty-nine is my favorite recipes written in the loopy script of my 20s and the messy print of my 30s, splotched with the relics of being put to very good use.

It's being able to list my favorite books, movies, foods and drinks without hesitation.

It's spending less time and money on manicures and haircuts and more on books, coffee, yoga, hours with my favorite people. It's dreaming and planning and going on one vacation and immediately stepping into dreams of the next.

Thirty-nine is unapologetic, but relentless, photography.

It's looking at my inbox, my social media feeds, my texts, my calendar and seeing that I'm absolutely surrounded by strong, smart women. It's knowing that this is not an accident.

It's realizing that not everyone will like me, and that I won't like everyone. It's understanding that there isn't any harm in this.

Thirty-nine is seeing newborn babies with their wafts of hair tucked beneath knit hats, tiny fingers and pink cheeks splayed on their mamas' shoulders, knowing that chapter is closed, that story is someone else's now.

It's looking at my kids with awe. Loving their senses of humor, excited for their new chapters to unfold, realizing, often, that they're halfway to less adventures at home and more on their own.

It's looking at my husband with the same kind of How lucky am I? awe. It's holding hands, quick apologies and lots of compromise. It's laughing the easiest and the longest together.

Thirty-nine is balancing comfort with edge-skating.

It's sitting with disagreements because not everything rides on same. It's finding value -- lots of it -- in difference.

It's more listening and less talking.

Thirty-nine is apple cider vinegar to start off the day. It's homemade clean soup followed by made-from-scratch chocolate cake.

It's more curls and less flat irons, more chapstick and less lip gloss, more flip flops and less heels.

It's noticing insides, my own and others'.

Thirty-nine is being able to ask for what I need and what I want.

It's knowing the difference.

It's thoughtfully picking when to say yes and when to say no -- and meaning it.

Thirty-nine is instinctively enlarging font sizes on screens. It's green tea. It's Ibuprofen after hard workouts. It's choosing hard workouts.

It's the 30-year-anniversary of a favorite movie from my youth. It's using phrases like from my youth.

It's looking at The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo's Fire with equal parts nostalgia and parenting eyes (and heart.)

Thirty-nine is seeing 16-year-olds and thinking they look way too young to drive and seeing 50-year-olds and thinking they're stunning.

It's knowing loss, and finding sparkle in the everyday.

It's not necessarily worrying what others think of me and my choices, but it's definitely caring how my actions affect others and how I make them feel.

Thirty-nine is understanding ripples and connectivity and change.

It's getting good and comfortable with all three.

It's realizing that most things aren't about me. That most people are good. That chances to lift others up are gifts.

Thirty-nine is looking at the mirror head-on and accepting what is.

It's loving birthdays and being grateful for what they represent.

It's being proud of almost four decades of being me.

Thirty-nine is something to celebrate.


This post originally appeared on Galit's blog, These Little Waves and was inspired by Lindsey Mead's This Is 38, This Is Midlife and Allison Tate's This Is (My) 39.

Galit's book, Kindness Wins, is a simple, no-nonsense guide to teaching our kids to be kind online.