I spent most of my life being a pleaser….wanting to make others happy, avoiding confrontation, going with the flow, over-nurturing men in relationships, putting myself last, etc. Then this wonderful thing happened: I turned 40 years old. As if on cue all of the above ceased. I really felt a change (no, not THE change…at least not yet). My perspective changed and life took a shift for the better.
I emerged as the headstrong stallion I’ve always felt inside. I stopped worrying about the opinions of those who have zero impact on my life and well being. If you ask me what I think, I have no qualms telling you my honest opinion. A woman in her forties knows herself well enough to be assured in what she has to offer, who she is, what she wants, and from whom.
Here’s what I know at 40:
1. Bye bye tough girl: For years I fought to prove that I could take care of myself. I hated asking for help and I never wanted a man to do anything for me. Of course this always attracted the wrong kind of people. Now, I understand that vulnerability is a form of strength. It’s ok to let someone carry my bags, pump my gas, or open the door. Letting a man be a man doesn’t make me less of a woman, it makes me a better one.
2. It hurts: I’m fragile, but at 40 I’m just not built like I used to be. My back, neck, wrist, left knee…it all hurts at some point. That’s life. My battle wounds are signs that I’ve lived a little. And I need more calcium. And regularly scheduled massages.
3. The sex stuff is true: Since my family reads this I’ll keep it simple. People think young girls have all the fun…Bwahaha! They don’t even know what they’re doing. I definitely peaked sexually in my mid 30s but by 40 you know what you want and how to get it. Initiation and creativity are in full effect. Christian Grey is child’s play to a 40 year old woman.
4. My patience has dwindled: I feel like I don’t have time for anything that doesn’t help me grow, bring me happiness, or make me money. The younger me always felt the need to explain myself or motives. Now, I know my spirit defines who I am to anyone of value. I refuse to waste my time and I won’t allow anyone else to.
5. Small circle: Insignificant people weed themselves out of your life over the years. I now have a small circle of friends but they are a mighty army. I don’t have the patience (see #4) for fake friendships or people I have no interest getting to know. I’ve realized it’s ok if people don’t like me and I’m not obligated to be everyone’s friend.
6. Relationships don’t have to be hard: Going through a divorce wakes you up about what you want/don’t want in a relationship. Being 40 makes you enforce it. I know what kind of man makes me happy and how I deserve to be treated, no settling for mediocrity.
7. Go for the gold: When I take an interest, I’m putting my all into it- school, career, family, personal goals, love. Tear down the walls, love authentically, and don’t be afraid to experience LIFE. My bucket list is getting checks left and right. All the things I always thought about doing I now have the guts and means to do so. My outlook on life is “Why not?” so I’m enjoying and exploring. The more things I do, the more I want to try.
8. Mi Familia is everything: I can honestly say I didn’t truly appreciate my parents until I had kids. I aspire to be a fraction as loving, devoted, and wise as my own mom and dad are to me. My earth revolves around my kids. It’s my mission to raise compassionate, honest, hard working, loving leaders. I’m thankful for great role models that started in the home.
9. I’ve always been a granny: People think my grandma tendencies have to do with getting older, but I’ve always liked being in bed by 9, kept tissue in every pocket, held my purse tight to my hip, yelled at other people’s kids, eaten Heath bars & butterscotch rounds, sat on the porch to watch the kids play, said “Bless Your Heart”, given homemade gifts, and enjoyed baking. Time has just caught up to my old school habits.
10.Life is good: I can sit back and smile on all my amazing accomplishments and lessons I’ve learned. It’s also easy to laugh at the bad choices I’ve made along the way. They were necessary to get me to this point. Because of mistakes, I walk in confidence and self assurance that I can rise from anything.
I am thankful for such a great life. I’ve had an amazing career, friends, supportive family. I have traveled to some beautiful places. I’ve been married and divorced. I have two amazing boys who have redefined my life and exposed my purpose. Forty feels great. I am more confident than I’ve ever been. I’m in the best physical and mental shape in my life. Anything after this point is a bonus!
Hello there Fab 40!