I turn 40 tomorrow. To be honest, most of the time I don't even think about my age. But 40 is a big birthday - at least that's what I have been told recently - and it has me reflecting a bit. Primarily on the power of the calendar.
I met my business partner (James) when I was 29 years old. I remember telling him at the time that I aspired to be a college president one day, and he replied, "You have to let the calendar do its work." At 29, I knew that could mean several things, including that I needed to get a little older to be credible.
Standing on the precipice of 40, I know that response meant a lot more.
In the eleven years that have passed since that conversation, I have changed. While my core values and beliefs primarily are the same, I've become more seasoned in my choices, more thoughtful if you will.
In those days, I thought nothing of working 10-12 hours a day. Now, I protect my time with my husband, other family members, friends, and myself. At 29, I was always ready for a good debate on any topic. At 40, I try to walk away from those conversations because I think little is ever accomplished in them. Back then, I needed people to know I was right. Now, I'm not so sure that being right really matters and it certainly doesn't seem to matter that people know it if I am. When I was 29, I knew exactly what I wanted - a job as a president - and I wasn't going to be satisfied until I got there. Today, I am happy to work in a role I love with good organizations. Don't get me wrong, I am still driven, but my drive is no longer centered on WHAT I will be; rather it centers on WHO I will be.
To close with a little humor, as tomorrow unfolds, in the spirit of Mike Gundy's epic rant, I can finally say, "I'm a Woman; I'm 40!" And I'm very blessed by the work the calendar has done in my life.