Who am I kidding? As much as I would love to believe that getting a year older in your 40’s is similar to your 20’s it is not. I would love to be able to say that I am in just as great shape now as I was at 23, but I am not. I would love to say that I am as footloose and fancy free, but I am not. But, there are many things that I am now that I would never have been able to do at 23.
From the opening of Target, Billings Bridge
I am a mother to three wonderful children. A who is now 21 and living on his own working full time still fills my heart when he comes over. He isn’t with us in our daily lives any more, but our family is complete when we are all together. J who is now 10 is one of the kindest, loving kids you will ever meet. His soft heart and big snuggles is a great reminder of why 43 is way better than 23. And sweet Apple who is now 6 is strong and determined, she has yet to meet a challenge she can’t overcome and also fills my day with cuddles, crafts and love. All of this was not in my cards at 23. The only thing that was really important way back then was driving my convertible, going to University and getting ready to go out at 10pm at night.
We must not forget Hubby. Although we knew each other twenty years ago, we were not together, just passing friends hanging out by our best friends pool. So yes, 43 is better than 23.
This past year, at 42, I did more than I could have ever imagined possible. I traveled throughout the US, mostly for work but a little for fun, getting to experience things that I would have been way to chicken to do at 23. I went to Las Vegas, twice! Once for my Photography business and once for my Arbonne business both amazing and both very different. I experienced Las Vegas while learning and enjoying a little of the Vegas life. I spoke at the Blissdom conference in Dallas, I photographed a party in Chicago for Yappem, and I got to attend the wedding of one of our best friends in Santa Ynez, California. None of these places I had been to before (well I have been to Chicago, but driving through on the Interstate is a little different than actually walking around downtown). I photographed two conferences in Toronto and I made numerous trips to Delaware. If someone had asked me at 23 if I would be doing all of this cool and wonderful stuff I would have laughed. At 23 I was a homebody, taking my annual pilgrimage to Delaware and waiting for the next year to come around so I could do it again.
Add to all that cool and fun stuff I have been privileged to do this year, I have also had many amazing work opportunities right here in Ottawa. When I am not on the road I am most definitely working. I have photographed events, weddings and amazing families. I have met Farmers from all over the US while photographing their conference, I have met people from the travel industry while photographing for Niagara Falls and Toronto Tourism. And honestly each and every job I have done touches my heart in some way. They are all not just jobs to me, but experiences that make me who I am today at 43. While attending the wedding in Santa Ynez, one I could actually watch without a camera in my hand, I shed tears of joy. My husbands best friend and someone I call brother was finally getting married. One of our friends commented that they were surprised that I could still cry at a wedding after so many years of photographing weddings and the truth is, I cry at each and every one of them. Each wedding is special and I get to know my clients and what I feel for them as they take their vows is true happiness.
So if this is what is in store for me at 43, I will take it. I look forward to 43 knowing that I have a few great projects ahead of me, a little more travel (let’s see if I can top 28 airplanes from this year) and so many things that are yet to come my way but will in a surprising and amazing way. 43 is good.