A very thankful woman at forty

j0402579 Thanksgiving week is here! Thanksgiving ushers in my favorite time of the year. The sights, smells and sounds of fall and winter bring back fond memories of growing up in the north with the falling autumn leaves turning to freshly fallen snow as the days got colder.  I remember raking mountains of leaves in the back yard with my sisters and diving into the freshly formed piles. Our lives seemed much simpler then.

Now, even in the midst of a world wide economic crisis, national healthcare debates and unspeakable crimes in the news, there’s still something about this season that gives me hope and joy.  The season ushers in a time when we increase our efforts at feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and bringing a smile on the faces of children all over the world. When I see how millions of people, all over the world, reach deep into pockets that are emptier than they were in years past, it reminds me that at our core, we can be divinely human, and I am eternally thankful for that.

I’m also thankful that I live in a country where I’m free to openly express my faith without persecution. I’m grateful that I live in a country where as a woman I, at least on paper, have as many rights as a man. I’m grateful for a seemingly endless supply of books and knowledge that I have at my fingertips via the Internet or my local Barnes and Noble. I’m thankful that my parents made me read newspapers and do reports in the summer when I was a kid, so that I could consume information about the world around me. I’m grateful for nearly forty years of making mistakes, and being smarter and stronger for having made them.

What are you most thankful for this season? Share your thoughts in the comment section, or on our Facebook fan page. You can also catch updates on Twitter @womenatforty.

Pat: On the best thing about being forty

40th birthday cake A few weeks ago I put out a call to women to ask  “What’s your best things about being forty?” I’ve gotten some great submissions from women who have fond memories of that year of their life. Pat’s 54 now, but remembers forty very clearly. Here’s the best thing about being forty in her own words…

At forty I felt sexy without working at it.  As a 54-year-old woman I have to put a lot of effort into looking sexy.  I don’t care how old you get I believe women still want to be viewed as attractive and sexy.  But, the ability to do so diminishes markedly in your 50’s.  Sure there are women who can carry it off,  but they’re instantly recognizable because they’re trying so hard to look young it becomes painfully obvious they’re older than they look.

40 was also great because the future seemed boundless!  I believed the world was my oyster and I could achieve anything I desired.  At 54 reality has set in.  Sure I can still achieve a lot and hope to, but time itself has become a limitation.  It’s a much more finite quality for me now — and my mind play often centers on mortality and what lasting accomplishments I can make.

As I look back,  40 was a magical time for me.  In reality it had all the ups and downs of any other decade,  but it is an in-between time  — when you’re young enough to still enjoy some of the benefits of youth and old enough not to jump straight into the pitfalls.   It was a sweet time!

Pat’s statement “when you’re young enough to still enjoy some of the benefits of youth and old enough not to jump straight into the pitfalls” struck a chord with me. What are your thoughts?

Share them in the comment section, or on our Facebook Women at Forty fan site .

Cake image source: Cakecentral.com