My 40th Birthday (a poem)

An ode to my 40th birthday and my body. Read more from Holl & Lane Magazine at

Words by Laci Hoyt

For me, the New Year starts

in August

when the heat outside

makes mirages on the pavement,

and there's an abundance of ripe food on the table

fresh from the garden.

This year

will mark the 40th trip I've taken

around our sun.

And I'll be happy to be one year older.

But while everyone else

plans out their dream trips

and special events,

I am stuck wondering

if I'll even be well

when the day comes around.

Maybe it is understandable,

the slight pangs of jealousy I feel

whenever the others

talk about their own birthday plans.

But even if it is understandable,

that doesn't make it any easier

to feel.

I am not jealous

because I wish to travel

or do something grand.

The jealousy is more because

my life doesn't look the way I planned.

The jealousy is because

I spend my life adjusting my expectations

to fit a life I didn't ask for.

Every plan

nothing more than a mirage

on the horizon.

Still, I will go on

subduing my longings

just as I have

for the past 7 years.

And I will make the best

of my New Year,

whatever that day brings.

But for right now,

whenever someone else

turns 40,

I'll be making space for myself

to grieve

everything I've lost

and missed out on

and had to give up

while I find my way back

to acceptance.

Click to Read Next: A Letter to My Body

Editor's Note: As part of the illuminate monthly writing membership, our writers have the opportunity to get their writing featured on our blog. Click here to find out more and sign up. We hope you enjoyed this selected piece. Congratulations, Laci!

About the Author:

Laci lives in a little town in upstate NY with her husband and two teenagers. She writes about living with chronic illness, love and relationships, and any other thing she can’t get out of her head. When she isn’t writing she can be found with knitting needles and yarn or hunched over the sewing machine making all the things.


Pin an image below, or click a social link to share!

An ode to my body on its 40th birthday. Read more at
My reflections on this important milestone - and its effects on my body. Read more at
A poem about my 40th birthday and my body. Read more at