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I attended a funeral today, one that made me really pause and think about life. I haven’t been to many funerals in my life, and I know there’s much to celebrate at funerals. I was so touched to see everyone come together and celebrate the achievements, the humour, the stories of this person whom we all had in common. Amazing how we’re all connected, and how the stories that shape us actually shape others as well.

What got me most choked up was that there will be a season in my life when death will be the inevitable event. Our parents, as they age, will go through this, but we, the children are the ones who will be left grieving. We are the ones who will be doing the remembering, the storytelling, the sharing of things.

Our lives go by so fast, and I know that the smallest things make us think too hard or too long; we get too caught up in the littlest of things.

I had the thought of myself being grieved over, and how terribly short life is to do the things I’ve been doing. There’s no sense in it. We are designed for much, much more than this.

It’s a birthday that some approach with humour, partying and frivolity. For others, it’s a day taken with some reluctance. Turning 40 is not always what we think it’s going to be like.

Perhaps it’s the feeling that we’re no longer in full control of our lives, the sinking feeling of being in a silo: we have our careers, our families and loved ones, our stability and predictability. It’s funny how we work hard to achieve those things, and then we feel a tangible, noticeable feeling of being constricted or limited.

I remember turning 20 thinking of all the possibilities that were ahead. Turning 30 was wonderful, as I was married and had our beautiful marriage to spend together. Now at 40, I have a beautiful family, a stable career, a healthy income, two growing kids who are exceptional in their own ways, and a life that I couldn’t have imagined was possible, especially not at the beginning of the creation of this blog.

Years ago I created this blog to lay out my life, at a time when being digitally present wasn’t the ubiquitous habit it is today. Smartphones were still in their infancy (BlackBerry was still the leader). The things that I blogged about were personal, as they still are today, but I also feel that I haven’t done much justice to this site in the past few years. I’ve always noticed how after writing a post, and then received feedback, I always felt rather justified in my writing pursuits, as if I had invested my time and efforts properly.

The idea of 40 is probably more fear-inducing than the reality of 40. When someone asked me the other day how old I was this year, the words practically stumbled out of my mouth. Am I where I thought I’d be at 40? Why is this milestone such a marker? How is it not much different from other birthdays and calendar milestones?

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What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

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