On Turning 40

Yes, it happened.  On November 4, I crossed the threshold into a new decade.  The one most often referred to as “over the hill.”

The days leading up to the Big Transition out of the 30s, I admit I was a bit melancholy — not feeling overly excited to be this age. I fell into an old, lame pattern of focusing my mind on where I lack and not where I am blessed. I looked at the gray hairs, the age spots, and the deepening crows feet instead of the twinkle, the smirk, or the wiggling right ear that is as present today as it was twenty years ago.

I started the nasty “should” game. At 40, I should have made more of my life. I should look better. I lamented my 20-something, early 30-something body, wondering if I will ever find the same discipline I used to have with exercise again.

But it’s all silly. I know from experience that anything you set your mind to, can manifest with purpose, intention and action.  I will make exercise a priority in my life again. And I will get that body back. Or something damn close that is feasible after having two children!

I said to my husband a month or so ago that I would love to ring in 40 years with a trip of some kind with our family and a celebration with friends in Austin. And I said that spending money on travel this year was out of the question so maybe we could ring in my 40th year when I’m 42 instead. And I’ll openly confess I said it with a fair amount of boo-hoo-ness in my voice too.

And then BAM. A week before my birthday, a dear, sweet client of my husband was in town from New York with his wife and took us to dinner. Mark is designing a vacation home for them.  They are fabulous people with the priceless character trait of being both interesting and interested and we both really enjoy their company.  I asked when they were coming to Austin again in November and said we’d have to go out for drinks for my birthday.  He said, “When’s your birthday?” I told him it was Thursday, the 4th.

And he said, “Monica, I think you should come to New York for your birthday”. I said it sounded like fun, but wasn’t possible.

His response?

“Monica, I insist. You must come to New York for your 40th birthday!”  And he proceeded to say he’d like to gift us the trip to come stay with them at their apartment on Central Park.


Yes. And after some back and forth on whether this was really feasible, did he really mean it, and what about the girls, could we bring them along…..two days later, we had tickets for the whole family to go to New York City together for three days– departing on the morning of my birthday. We were treated to every meal, to Broadway shows at night, and to a babysitter for our girls for our evenings out who came 2 hours early the first night so we could all get to know her…..

We saw a beautiful staging of “A Little Night Music” with Bernadette Peters on Broadway. God I love her. Fifth row back, in the center of the theater.  She was absolutely amazing.  And when we went out to dinner afterwards, guess who sat down at the table next to us??

Bernadette Peters!!  And she was with Martin Short, my favorite comedian of all time!!

I’m still in a state of shock. And awe. And complete and utter gratitude.

Truly, truly, truly — anything is possible in this life.

So what’s next?  Who do I want to be in my forties?   I will write it as if it is already so……(a lovely little trick for manifestation!)

I am a woman who expresses love to her husband in a way that feeds his body, his soul, and his success.

I am a mother that loves and cherishes my children in a way that builds their self-esteem and ability to think and act wisely for themselves while feeling and expressing compassion for themselves and others.

I am a woman who stands up for what she believes in — even if it makes other people uncomfortable.

I tried this mode of being out last week as a Soccer Mom. I wrote an email to the mothers on the team in response to one that was announcing bringing donut munchkins to the next game.  I said it was important to me to minimize my daughters’ intake of refined sugar and processed foods and that I hoped the parents might come together and agree to bring nutritious snacks for the games — possibly something as simple as orange or apple slices. And holy moly – did I offend. And you know what? I’m OK with it.

I foster the Development of a Zen Family. We embrace daily practices that support our mental, emotional and physical wellness and the well-being of the family unit and day-to-day life together.

Together with my husband, I successfully acquire financial security and experience a deep, peaceful knowing that our future and the futures of our children are well taken care of. The ability to fund the kind of education that we seek for our girls, to travel the world together as a family, to affect positive change in the world with charitable giving, to host weddings and to grow old in comfort. We will do the work, grow the businesses, save as much as we can, and create this reality. Amen!!

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4 Responses to “On Turning 40”

  1. Audrey says:

    What’s Cravotta Furniture? Is it just part of what Daddy does for Cravotta Studios? Is it an extension of his business? Or is it a completely new business endeavor?

  2. Audrey says:

    What’s Cravotta Furniture? Is it just part of what Daddy does for Cravotta Studios? Is it an extension of his business? Or is it a completely new business endeavor?

    Also, happy birthday! I’m glad you had so much fun in NYC. I wish I could have been there!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations Monica! What a wonderful way to usher in your 40’s! And I Los your intention list. I think I may have to make one of those for myself. Once again, attachmen mama inspires!

  4. amy says:

    happiness to you! i totally loved this post, and hope that you will come back to it when something seems impossible/crazy in the future. this energy is so powerful and real. congratulations to you for finding this place so early (yes, early) in life. 🙂

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