Today I turned 40 years old. I am now what is considered “mid-life,” “middle aged,” and “over the hill.” All joking aside, It stops me in my tracks to think that I am technically to the approximate half way point in my life. How did this happen? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was in size 3 jeans and didn’t have wrinkles on my face? I was cruising down the street belting out the lyrics to Alanis Morissette and TLC? This is a bit jarring, I’m not going to lie.
It’s not just the physical changes, like going from not needing to wear a bra ever to not being caught dead outside the house without one on. Or no longer being able to miss a hair appointment or ALL my hair will be grey when the dye wears off. It’s bigger than all that. It is the arrival to the half way point in life that is the most shocking. It’s a pretty big thing to take in and reflect on. Something this big surely does not happen every day.
There are some perks to growing older…
On one hand I love the wisdom and freedom of thought I now have at this age. I no longer care as much what people think of me. I’m much more in touch with who I am, AND I’m getting so much better at setting boundaries. So I have some wrinkles and extra pounds but I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been before.
There are beautiful things about getting older. And, a momentous birthday like this elicits a kind of deeper analysis of life thus far. Taking stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going, but also where I thought I’d be right now.
Where I envisioned myself to be when I turned 40 is not where I am today.
I am much further behind in certain areas of my life than I had hoped I’d be in my younger years. I had this notion that by the time I was 40, all my ducks would be neatly in a row. Of course I would already have the dream house, dream car, dream everything, and life would be going along nicely.
Now we all know that’s pretty unrealistic. But when you’re 20, 40 seems SO OLD! For sure all my dreams would come true by then. How many of you can feel me on this one? I believe that one of the biggest causes of psychological distress is when things don’t turn out the way we planned for them to. I’m in a little bit of psychological distress as we speak. It’s time to focus on the good stuff about turning 40.
Top 5 (Good) Things about Turning 40
- There is still time- At least we aren’t 80 and then waking up to the fact that life doesn’t last forever. We still have plenty of time to do the things we want to do! It might be at a slower pace than at 20, but come on, slower is better than never. And for me, when I’m moving a bit slower, I know I’m being more intentional and present. I’m creating a 40 things in my 40th year bucket list as we speak. My podcast guest Julie Schooler gave me the idea. Listen to that episode HERE. I’ll post my completed list as soon as I’m finished for you to see.
- Getting older makes the time sweeter- The less time we have, the more we treasure the present moment. The more we value time spent, time together, down time, and just plain time. Let’s take this opportunity to slow down and look around. To be more intentional with our sweet gift of time.
- It makes you re-evaluate and re-prioritize- Big realizations like being half done with your life will give you the kick in the pants you need to get your shit done. Kick it in gear! Take action! No more waiting around for tomorrow. What should the second half look like? Good… now lets go create it!
- It’s never too late to build the life you love- I don’t care how old you are, It’s never too late! Rather than being stuck on the time that has passed, let’s look to the future. We no longer live there. This is now our shot to live forward in a whole and fulfilling way! There is still a lot of life that exists on the other side of the hill.
- All the wisdom- Yes, I’m WAY more wise now than I was in my teens and 20’s. Heck, I’m more wise than I was last year. All these years of experience, challenges, and growth add up. With more wisdom comes more of an ability to let things go. To realize what matters and what doesn’t. And to embrace the fact that even though we are half way there, we’ve still got a lot to learn!
Cheers to a New Decade
I really am grateful I’ve made it this far. Lot’s of people don’t get to celebrate their 40th birthday. I’m over the moon about the time I’ve been given so far. I’m also taking this opportunity to re-commit to myself to make the second half really count. To shove as much life into the rest of my life as possible. To live big, experience dreams, give back, and die on empty, with no more life left to live.
Cheers to being 40! No matter your age, cheers with me. This is our moment to go out and grab life by the horns and fully live with our whole hearts. Even if it’s a little harder to put on your own shoes in the morning, at least it reminds us that we are still here! Ready to finish what we’ve started!