Staring Down the Dreaded 40 Straight in the Eye

I have less than a week left in my thirties. The big 4-0 is staring me down, but I have no palpitations in the homestretch to this big milestone. For the first time in a long time, possibly ever, I am at peace with where I am in life. Content. Joyfully nesting with my brood and my blog.

Stairs-to-Outer-Banks-BeachMonth by month during this last year, I’ve slowed down the pulse of my day to day, shedding responsibilities and obligations one by one. I became a quitter, a title I’ve always scorned and feared. But as I shed the jobs and extra-curriculars that were taking up my time, life began to make more sense, and I continued to eliminate anything that didn’t fit my mantra: my babies and my blog. Focusing on family and writing has given me back a sense of peace, a clear purpose to enter the next decade of my life.

This last weekend, I was invited by a casting team to try out for a cooking reality show. The show, hosted on a major network by a chef I greatly admire, would have been a thrilling opportunity, one that seemed to be a perfect fit at this juncture in my cooking and blogging career. All week, I pondered the opportunity, coming up with a great dish that distills my cooking philosophy in just one bite, but on the day of the audition, I stayed home. The sun was shining and it seemed much more important to spend the day making memories at the pool with my kids and my nieces than waiting in line at a studio downtown chasing fame.

Does the show sound interesting to you? They’re casting across the US right now for Season 2. You can apply in person or online.

I’ve been blogging for six years and have seen many good friends take their blog and turn it into book deals and other businesses. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I don’t hunger for fame or fortune from my blogging and my cooking. Just having an outlet to share my stories and my food is all I need. I’m happy in my body and my marriage, surrounded by my babies, comfortable in my messy and chaotic home. I sweat routinely and write often, and those things make me peaceful and happy. We travel. We eat well. We’re healthy. Days before turning forty, I want for nothing.

Who knows how I’ll feel on the eve of 50? ¬†With kids in college and the empty nest looming, the hunger is sure to return. When it does, I’ll be ready to feed it, but for now, happily shed of obligations and complications, I’m ready to take things one day at a time and start this new decade.

40 – you’re not so scary. I’m ready for you. Bring on your best.


6 Responses to Staring Down the Dreaded 40 Straight in the Eye

  1. Happy Birthday, Vanessa! May all your wishes come true. I love your attitude–it’s inspiring. My big sister turned 50 yesterday, which means it’s only two years away for me. Wow. Like you, I’m not afraid, but excited to see what comes next.

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