So tomorrow’s my 40th birthday.
This is going to take some practice getting used to saying that I’m a 40 year old woman. I was about to write that I still identify as a 25 year old. And then I deleted that line. Because truth be told, at 25 I didn’t know shit.
And this post is about what I know, now that I’m 40. These are some of the lessons I’ve learned in my 40 years of riding the earth rollercoaster. Most of it, admittedly, I’ve only learned in the last 10 years because that’s when I really started waking up.
So here goes…
40 things I’ve learned from turning 40
- What I thought 40 felt like, is not what 40 feels like.
- Turning 39 is worse than turning 40. There’s a finality attached to turning 39. With turning 40, there’s something new and exciting.
- At 40 years old, it’s still possible to be affilicted with teenage-like acne-prone skin, but now that ‘youthful’ complexion is complimented by a mane of hair that’s sprouting grey hair – and not the grey you paid a professional for.
- Niggling aches and pains in joints, niggle a little longer and more incessantly than before.
- Bum cheeks seem to flatten and take on a southerly inclination.
- The face I see in the mirror seems far more youthful than the face I see in photos.
- Reading glasses are more of a functional piece of equipment than a trendy fashion accessory.
- The promise of a hangover is enough of a deterant for a boozy night of over-indulgance.
- Muscle memory is surprisingly good at 40, considering I can outrun the distances my 25 year old self ever could.
- Sleep becomes an obstacle course activity for all the special pillows strategically placed to alleviate hip, shoulder and neck ache.
- Not giving a fuck about other’s opinions becomes easier.
- The need to compare yourself to and emulate someone half your age becomes less of a priority.
- Quality conversations that spark intelligent debate and inspired perspectives trump vacuous gossip, superficial small talk and incessant complaining.
- Setting boundaries becomes easier because I now know, acknowledge and honour what I like, don’t like, what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable to me.
- I value ‘being on the same page’ more than my old habit of people pleasing and conflict avoidance.
- I can more easily give myself permission to contradict myself and be kind to myself when I do.
- Whatever happened in the past doesn’t dictate my future.
- My ability to make choices for myself is the most powerful mental tool I have.
- My memory aint what it used to be – hell! it’s never been great! Document everything that’s important to you! Notes, contracts, pin numbers, passwords, photos & videos of fun times. If it’s important, document it!
- Freedom is a mental state of being.
- My outside reality only ever changes when my inner reality does.
- There are just some things in life we’ll never know or understand for sure.
- The beliefs I had my entire life can be changed in an instant. If I choose to change them.
- Dealing with duality & paradoxes is a balancing act for life.
- As humans we are both ultimately signficant and completely insignificant at the same time.
- My mortal brain cannot ever fathom the enormity of the star systems, galaxies and scale of our universe.
- This 40 years of my existance & however long I continue to live will have been the tiniest, teeniest tiny fraction of a fraction of the timeline of our universe.
- Everything is energy. Everyone is energy. Who I’m being is creating energy & my energy creates my reality.
- It’s okay to be selfish if it allows me to be selfless.
- It’s okay to disagree.
- It’s okay to be different.
- It’s not okay to hurt people.
- It’s not okay to hurt living creatures.
- There’s more to life than money & stuff. The key lies in the answer of ‘what does the money and stuff give me?’
- There’s a detachment that grows in the gap between what you used to think your life should be and what your life is.
- You’ll be grateful that you told the people you love and appreciate that you love and appreciate them.
- Fill your home, your body, your mind, your life with items, experiences and memories that bring you and others joy, pleasure and peace.
- Receive negative feedback as a clue to how you can continue to grow, rather than as something that shrinks you.
- When shit happens, take a moment to choose your response. Feel the feelings, acknowledge the pain, then move your attention and change your energy.
- Aim to be the best version of you in each moment.
- Dream big and never stop dreaming.
- Remember, as long as you’re living, it’s never too late. When you’re dead, it’s too late.
- If the opportunity to travel to distant places and experience different cultures comes up, take it!
- Always stretch that comfort zone.
- Less is more – clutter, facial hair, limiting beliefs.
- You’ll never be as young as you are today, so don’t wait any longer to do something that lights you up and contributes to the planet.
- You’re exactly where you need to be to learn the things you need to learn, to become the person you need to be, to create the life you want.
- There wil ALWAYS be someone smarter, prettier, richer, slimmer than you. That’s their journey, not yours. Focus on your own positives.
- If you have a healthy body, you’re wealthy beyond words!
Always be grateful.
Thank you for reading this far, what would you add to this list?