On celebrating well, and accepting the challenge issued by a chair

I simply could not have enjoyed turning 40 more. That's really all there is to it. I felt loved and lucky and festive every second of wakefulness on Saturday, heard from so many friends, and was incredibly moved by their thoughtfulness and generosity.

Benedict helped me celebrate, and so did Rogie via Italian friends. Isn't it amazing (and wildly accommodating) that not only my dear husband but also my two boyfriends feted me in such grand fashion? Ben has taken up residence in my office and is really quite a dashing presence.

T gave me the reading chair and ottoman I've long wanted for our bedroom. It is so comfortable and beautiful and has issued a challenge about which I'm thrilled: sit in it and read. Daily. 

I mean, what is the point of a reading chair if not to actually take time with my collection of books and newspapers and magazines? To finally make my way through the list of links I've saved on Facebook and the emails I've repeatedly marked as unread? To rest a little, daydream, ponder?

And yet, such leisure is so often so hard for me. There is always so much to do, and I run frenetically trying to do, do, do because it feels important and mission-critical. And some of it is, some of it isn't negotiable.

But last Saturday, as I welcomed a great babysitter who enthusiastically took the kids to the park, as I thanked T for mowing the yard and tidying the house and urged him to get some quick rest if he could, as I left -guilt-free- for a few hours of me-time (mani! pedi! solo lobster roll lunch!), I realized anew that a life spent mucking maniacally through to-dos isn't a life well lived. 

I doubt many days in my future will include the salon, a lobster roll and my favorite cake flown in from New Orleans, but I no longer believe that I need to celebrate a "big" birthday to rest and indulge a bit either. Time must be found to sink into my new chair and pick something from my grab bag of saved desires. To invest in myself the way I do in others. To set limits and honor them.

Whether this shift was brought about by entering a new decade or finally running out of steam matters little. What's important is where I ended up, and for that I'm psyched.