Advice on Turning 40

January 25, 2018 Comments Off on Advice on Turning 40

I began this blog when I was just 39 and a half and didn’t know shit about shit. On July 16th I started putting the website together. On July 20th, I published my first post: What is the Ideal Lifestyle? Meditating on a Kayak.

In my first post, I wrote about telling my yoga instructor, “I finally feel like I’m really starting to get there with my Chaturangas.” He smiled and said, “Remember, it’s a practice not a destination. There is no arriving.”

I was SO naive back then! It was 219 days ago. I’m much more with it now. After all, in just 2 days, I’ll be 40. I’ve published another 51 posts since the first.

One of my favorite things about approaching 40 is becoming smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. Some days, I don’t feel like I know much of anything and I am 100% okay with that. I don’t know about you, but I would rather know quite a bit about a few things that I’m passionate about than a little about a lot of things. Since I don’t really know what it’s like to be 40 yet (I am still 37 hours away from it), I sought the insights of friends on Facebook.

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from women who are or have been in their 40s:

“Looking that FAR back for me, I’d have to say it was a great time, 40’s and 50’s. I felt better, looked better, took better care of myself than earlier in life. Totally enjoyed my kids and husband and accomplished lots of things. Enjoy! Do! Speak your mind and find yourself in a new light,” responded Debi Neville.

I must say that this past year has been one of my favorites, so maybe the decade or two to follow it will be as good as Debi’s. Here’s hoping!

Heather Holmes’s words have me feeling pretty chill about the big day. “I still wonder what I’ll be when I grow up and I’m 45. I’ve decided to love that about myself. It’s ok to not have it all figured out after 40. Love your amazing self every day. Oh, and wine, never deny yourself a good glass of wine.” I love that she wrote that, because in all honesty, my biggest struggle some days is feeling as if I have not figured out anything. ANYTHING. Have you figured everything out? Anything?

“40 was fabulous, so was 50,” wrote Helene Donohue. “Eliminate clutter, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Live simply, love yourself, laugh as much as possible, give as you live.”

Right now is a great time for me to follow Helene’s advice. We’re moving. As I pack things up, the physical clutter is being donated or thrown out. Much of the emotional and mental clutter has been swept out. Pursuing simplicity sounds cozy.

One of the first and most good-for-me responses I received was from my friend Pamela Sullivan Delaney. She wrote, “Time for a mammogram!!!” I will get it done ladies, I promise!

“You have worked hard to get this far, start enjoying what you have and those you hold dear,” wrote Julie Daywitt. I do find that these days I’m more excited about cooking for and spending time with those I love than writing the next great American novel or accomplishing any other similar feat. And, an attitude of gratitude is always so helpful, isn’t it?

“The best part of getting older is you start having waaay less f*cks to give! Quite liberating, really.” Dawn Sanborn wrote. Her comment prompted my future mother-in-law and father-in-law to send me the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I’m enjoying the book immensely and I’m trying to finish it before I’m 40.

Right now, I’m 3 chapters in.

Here’s what I’m Loving in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck so far:

    • “As Albert Camus said, ‘You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
    • “If pursuing the positive is a negative, then pursuing the negative generates the positive. The pain you pursue in the gym results in better all-around health and energy. The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what’s necessary to be successful.” Good stuff and I was only on page 11 when I read it.
    • Manson asserts that happiness comes from solving problems. Maybe that’s why Chris and I often talk about our favorite days being the productive ones, the ones we’ve solved problems during. Manson then writes, “True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”
    • “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Manson wrote. And as I was on the elliptical reading his words, I thought, “And you can’t lose either.” Maybe that’s why I’ve struggled during much of my adult life to really try and play the game. That good old fear of failure.
    • “…they become amazing, because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all.”

    The truth is, I’m super excited about turning 40. Much of it is thanks to the great advice from friends and from hearing so many women say that they LOVED their 40s. And much of it is thanks to my guy who has planned some sort of birthday surprise. I can’t wait to find out what it is! I’m sure the first place I’ll post about it will be Instagram.