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When I was 16, I used to say that I wanted to be dead by the time I was 40. In my mind, all the legends were dead by 40. I looked this up today just to double check my teenager gut. Turns out, I was onto something….

Here is a post about 59 famous people who died before the age of 40.

In summation, it includes (among others):

1. Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix & Kurt Cobain (all died at the age of 27)

2. Hank Williams (29) & Patsy Cline (30) & Sylvia Plath (also 30)

3. Jesus Christ & John Belushi (both 33)

4. Andy Kaufman & Stevie Ray Vaughn (both 35)

5. Princess Diana, Bob Marley & Marilyn Monroe (all 36)

6. Lou Gehrig (37)

7. Malcom X & Martin Luther King, Jr. (39)

And so, here I am. Embarking upon my 39th year. Friday will be my 39th birthday. When I was a teen, I adamantly insisted that I would die before the age of 40. Ahem. Cough. Raise eyebrows. Stutter. I sure hope no one was listening. Grin.

See, the thing is. I’m just getting started. Despite my previous notions and convictions, I’ve not lived life to it’s fullest yet. Yes, I have enjoyed many days and months and years. I’ve had heartbreaking moments of joy and sorrow and euphoria and glee. And I am in no way ready for it to be over, although I fully embrace that it could be at any time and any place and any moment and that would be a-ok. That’s the funny thing. I’m fine if it’s today. And I’m thrilled if it’s not. I know I have many, many amazing loved ones already crossed. But I also know I have much to live for here, namely my family, my husband, my children and my community.

The thing is: I love life. I love it so much that I also know that I will love death as well, being that they are two sides of the same coin – in my mind. However, ideally, not today.

And so it begins, my curious countdown of my 39th year.

How will this go?