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This is 40

Today is the day. I am officially in my 40s.

I get that some people dread birthdays. For me I never really have. I know some people might consider 40 old, but I guess it comes down to how you feel and I feel the best I ever have. Truly. 40s are a time of being secure in who you are, knowing what you want out of life (and what you don’t), and living for the things that are truly important. Never have I felt more sure of who I am and who I am supposed to be.

The 20s seemed like such an insecure time. A ridiculous amount of fun was had as a single and newly married girl living in the big city. No kids, little responsibility (outside of paying obnoxious amounts of rent). But it is also such a time of doubt about who you are, where your life is going, am I doing it right and how the heck am I supposed to do this adult thing??!! So much insecurity. No thank you. Goodbye 20s.

The 30s seemed like a bit of a blur. Three kids (plus a 4th through foster care). I don’t think I slept enough the whole 10 years. So much new responsibility it felt crushing at times. Still a ton of joy raising a family and starting an official, full blown, “grown up” life. But still a lot of insecurities about friendships, self-worth, body image (yowza body post kids) and all the ways I was likely messing my kids up. The 30s were very, very good to me, but I am happy to wave them goodbye as well.

40 feels so fabulous to me. My kids are at such awesome ages and I feel like I am pretty confident in my parenting abilities (talk to me again when I have full-blown teenagers). I know the things that make me happy and the things that drain me. I am done with toxic friendships and instead chose to invest in healthy people who love me for me. At the same time I find myself becoming much more generous with myself and my time, looking around for ways to bless others because I have been so blessed in life. After spending my 30s hunkering down and getting er done with little kids, I am finally looking outward again and it feels so freeing.

I was talking to Ryan the other day about this life we have created and how much joy it brings me. I love that we live life large and try to consume every day to the fullest. I totally recognize that my life seems overwhelming to many people. We stay busy, love to travel, take in as many theater and concerts and festivals and local events as we can. Nothing makes me get twitchy more than a blank calendar. I like it full.

I am done apologizing for it. I know living life on such a grand scale isn’t for everyone but I want to live a life of no regrets and for me that means saying yes to as many experiences as possible while making sure we are being responsible with our finances and not burning ourselves out. We don’t always get it right, but I also know I’m not happy still for too long. I think my 40s are going to be a grown up, responsible decade of YOLO (can you say YOLO when you are 40?).

So for those of you who have blazed the 40 trail ahead of me, thank you so much for showing me age is just a number and nothing to fear. I think because I have so many older and wiser friends in my life I look forward to every birthday knowing that it fully has the potential to be better than the last. You gals are definitely making 40 look pretty amazing.

And to those of you who are behind me in your 20s and 30s. Don’t waste a moment wishing for what was behind you or aching to get ahead. I know I have wished away years before and it is such wasted energy. Soak up every moment of every day as the blessing that it is. Stop apologizing for who you are, but always strive to end each day a little closer to the person God wants you to be. And most of all remember, life is way too short to be spent worrying. Grab yourself a square (or two) of chocolate, pour yourself a glass (or two) of red, look life square in the eye and say “I’ve got this.” It just keeps getting better. Cheers.

Comments

  1. Happy birthday friend! SO thankful for your wise and kind and hilarious voice in my life. I’m actually kind of looking forward to 40 (hit me up Oct. 2016 and see if I still think so, though). Here’s the thing, life is too short to dread something like an age milestone or not love what you’re doing. I think I’ll always struggle with wanting the approval of others but each year, that slips away slowly but surely – not in a “screw ’em” sort of way but instead in a “have they ever sat at my kitchen table before?” sort of way. I’m trying more to contemplate whose voice counts in my life and that’s something I couldn’t quite do in my 20s and even my early 30s.

    Certainly not everything that life throws our way can make us happy but I’m finding there is really more in our control than we might admit.

    Can’t wait to see where 40 takes you and follow along on your adventures. :)
    Cherie recently posted…Why We Didn’t Default on Our Student LoansMy Profile

    • Yes, yes, YES!! The voice counting thing is huge. There is so much noise out there and it has taken me a long time to be able to say, “You don’t get a say.” Love your wisdom as well friend.

  2. Happy birthday to my FIRST friend… Can’t believe we are in our 40th year! Loved reading your thoughts on this momentous event, and looking back on how far you’ve come. It is wonderful to see what an inspiration you have become to your family AND your readers. Here’s to making the 40’s be as successful as you’ve planned them to be! Andy from Mtown

  3. Live it up, darling! You are fabulous and I am glad we are friends!

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