By all accounts today is significant, but it is especially so for me.
Today is my 40th birthday.
I celebrated with my family already last weekend and I enjoyed tons of well wishes and cake at work today, but despite all the exhortations from female friends who've already hit this milestone, I don't feel liberated. I have instead been unable to shake the melancholy that has plagued me since waking: it is nearly bedtime and I still feel unsettled.
I am happy enough, but not knowing if my family is complete leaves me unable to exhale and ill-equipped to make grand declarations about what the next year or the next decade will bring.
I cannot help remembering that last year I was so rushed on my birthday that I completely forget it until my sweet mother-in-law forced me to slow down for a birthday kiss: little did I know it would be the last one I would ever receive from her.
So what if I never expected my life would look like this at 40 - that's hardly surprising is it?
Just last weekend, between bites of an early birthday cake, my father quoted me an old saying that has rung in my ears all day today: "The secret to being happy in life is not getting what you want, but being happy with what you get."
And in the absence of grand declarations, that, I think, will be my mantra for the coming year and hopefully for all those that follow it.