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  • Writer's picturekatiemovestaipei

Guess What My Birthday Present to Myself Is?!

39 Forever!

One of my all time favorite photos of my parents captures a sweet moment of my mom sitting on my dad’s lap, arms wrapped around one other, both grinning widely mid-laugh like teenagers. They’re showing off the gift my father is wearing — a black T-shirt given from my great aunt, that reads, “39 forever” in bold white.

My parents’ palpable happiness in that instant gives credence to the shirt’s slogan — if only we could make time stand still, and have the best of moments last forever! Fortunately, my dad has gone on to add many more years , experiences, joys, challenges and stories to his life. And now, somehow, I find myself turning 39 today!

“39 forever”. A year to make count. Within the words is the obvious assumption that there is something earth shattering and even dreadful about hitting the big 4-0. Have you seen magazine features like “Fortune’s 40 Under 40” and “40 Things You Must Do Before 40”? That’s the kind of pressure midlife crises are made of : “What the heck have I been doing all my life?” followed by, “Quick, what can I accomplish before an arbitrary deadline that is rapidly approaching a year in the future?”

That’s not the kind of panicked energy I want to have this coming year.

“39 forever.” A year to hold on to. There’s no way of stopping time. My 40’s are coming and if I’m lucky many more years after that! Instead of grasping frantically at years of youth, is it possible to create the feeling of slowing time down by being more present?

More than ever I find myself drawn to simple pleasures and the relaxing and quiet moments absent of constant rushing and doing. The things that make me feel most present are conversations with loves ones, practicing slow and deep breathing, noticing beauty around me in unexpected places as I walk through the city, making a meal from scratch , and connecting with myself, the music, and YOU when I dance!

No doubt 39 will feel like it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. This year I want to savor as many moments as I can so that rather than wishing to never grow old I’ll be able to look back and have memories and lessons that truly do stay with me forever! My present to myself is presence.

As always, thank you for being a part of some of the most present, joyful, dance-filled moments of my days! Looking forward to creating more unforgettable memories and moments with you this next year!



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