Birthday cake with red candles showing Nr. 40

Single Mom Slice of Life:
Embracing ME at 40!

I was a young mom in an abusive marriage.

I became a single mom trying to raise two men.

I am a single woman about to turn 40.

Yeah, that’s right, soon I will officially be in a whole new,“check your age” box. Suddenly, the way I’ve defined myself for half my life is changing. You know what? I think like it. I’m embracing it. I’m looking forward to what happens next. I’m the oldest of seven children; in some way, shape or form, I’ve been taking care of someone else for a great many years. I’ve been in my own right for 19 years and now am finding my identity is rapidly changing.

So here I sit, on the eve of my 40th year, and think to myself, “the eve of my 40th year? I’ve been watching faaaaar too much Game of Thrones.” But that may be a post for another time. Seriously though, something has clicked within me these last few months. A calming, introspective sort of peace.

My oldest is pulling away – becoming his own man – and in the process making mistakes he doesn’t yet know will hurt him. I’ve accepted that the only way for him to transition from my baby boy into a man – is to fall. I’m not saying I will enjoy it when he finds he in fact does not know everything in life already, but I also know that life is something he has to learn for himself – however he chooses to do so.

My daily life holds far less chaos than it did even a few short months ago. All of my stress, worry, fretting and hissy fits (I’ve had a few) hold zero control over with others do. I can’t force others to do the right thing, nor can I ask that everyone view life as I do. I can however do my best, do what I think is right, and in the end, it is much easier to fall asleep at night knowing I did what I could do, and not fretting over what others did.

My interests have changed… or rather… I’m embracing them. Before I did only what was convenient for the boys, others involved. Now, I have interests that are all my own. I can now either go out, or stay in (watching Game of Thrones) without worry or fear the world will crumble because I was expected to be somewhere to hold it up on my shoulders.

My friends are more interesting. Or rather, I see them now through my eyes. Before, they had always been seen through a mom’s eyes, a mom’s calendar, a mom’s agenda. Now they’re seen through a young(ish) woman’s eyes who is laughing, talking, sharing.

Related: Wishful Thinking: What Aspect Of Growing Older Are You Most Looking Forward To?

Normally at this time of the year, I’m fretting over the fact that the boys have been gone for several weeks but haven’t yet called, or complaining at how big and lonely the house is without them here. This year, I have plans – a girl’s getaway to Sedona for no other reason than to celebrate that I’ve survived 40 years on this planet; dinner and a movie on a week night; happy hour with co-workers. (Baby steps – I’m not ready to take over the world just yet.)

I choose to take it as a sign of growth. With age comes wisdom. Wisdom breeds understanding. Understanding embraces peace. I made some of those phrases up, but they seem true enough, don’t you think? I may be heading into a whole new part of my life – but I’m not afraid of it. I know myself better now than I did then. Mountains are now molehills. My children are learning on their own instead of learning from me. My life is… mine now.

What about you? Have you had your EUREKA! moment yet in life? Did you walk into it gracefully or fight it tooth and nail?