Call it a mid-life crisis but I just turned 38 in September and I’m having some thoughts. This is definitely not the first time I’ve thought about my age but holy ish…40 feels like a big one.
My parents both got made fun of tirelessly for turning 40 and being over the hill! It terrified me! I never wanted to be over the hill and “old.”
Nevertheless, here I am and I’m only terrified a little bit. I’m actually really excited to join the women in their 40s club. Undeniably, my tribe has some absolutely fabulous women over 40 so I’ve got the best to learn from.
With each passing decade, I’ve learned a lot about who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. And in my eyes, women in their 40s just have it together…right?…right?
The new decade “scaries”
But seriously, I was freaked out when I turned 20 and didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. It seemed like at 20, you should know what you were going to do with your career. Also, you should be going to the school you’d been dreaming of all through high school. And you should have a fairly healthy party schedule. I had one of those things…bet you can’t guess which one 🙂.
Turning 30 freaked me out. I wasn’t married and we didn’t have kids and that felt like something you should definitely have done by 30. You should own a home and have a 401k and be working in a secure job where you plan on spending the next 10 years.
The lessons I’ve learned
So in the past 18 years, I’ve learned a lot…thank goodness. I’ve learned that shoulds are a waste of time. One of my favorite phrases is “Stop shoulding on yourself.” It’s not helpful to spend your precious time comparing your life to society’s standards. Because honestly, who’s in charge of the standards anyway? They aren’t the boss of you and they aren’t in charge of your life.
I’ve learned that I am actually right on track in life…my own track. I’ve stopped comparing my lane with everyone else’s and have accepted the glorious unique-ness that is my life. And the amazing unique-ness of everyone else’s life too. How cool is it that we are all on this path together and that each of us gets to do things in our own time, exactly when we are ready for it? There is a sublime divinity to it all. When you take your death grip off the wheel and trust that you are being supported, life is easier.
I’ve learned that there really are no mistakes. The universe is too loving to do that. I’m not saying that things aren’t hard and they can sure as heck feel like a mistake but there is always a lesson in there for us. And usually, the lesson is loving ourselves more.
With all of this infinite wisdom available to me, I’ve also learned that I’m not walking into 40 scared or freaking out. I’m walking into this decade with a renewed sense of love for myself and my life.
The end of my 30s
I also don’t want to push past that this is the end of my 30s. My 30s have challenged me more than I ever thought possible. It was hard in a way I never thought possible.
I questioned everything I’d ever been taught in my 30s. Completely rearranged my relationship with myself and God. I brought two lives into this world and with that, all the transformation that comes with becoming a mother.
My 30s were exceptional in every sense of the word. I felt more of every emotion…joy, sadness, peace, anger. Laughed and cried harder, loved myself more, called myself out on my shit.
I became deeply and compassionately honest with myself about who I was and what I wanted. I took an inventory of the ways I would allow myself to be treated. And I went on a mission to find what made me happy. The real me, the me that I am under all the blankets I’ve worn my whole life to please everyone else.
The woman that’s emerged is one that I am so proud to be. She’s fearless in a way I never thought I could be. Determined and tenacious. She’s kind, compassionate, and caring. And she’s going to walk into 40 the most proud of herself and the life she’s created.
The first 25
I want to commemorate the end of my 30s and the beginning of my 40s with a 40 under 40 bucket list. This list represents a lot of things that have been stirring for me. Completing it will be a practice in getting out of my own way, keeping a commitment to myself, and becoming an explorer.
I put together 25 things I wanted to do on my own before asking anyone else and the first 25 things are personal, financial, spiritual, relationship goals. They are places I want to go that I’ve always dreamed of and they are filled with things I’ve always wanted to do.
- Drive a race car
- Sit in a hot spring
- Hug a redwood
- Go to the 4 corners
- Go horseback riding with Paul
- Have a regular exercise habit
- Make healthy/vibrant meals on the regular
- Learn to play the drums
- Make $200,000+
- Go out of the country
- Publish a book
- Skydive or bungee jump
- Girl’s trip to Vegas
- Draw and paint more
- Dance classes
- Winery with Paul
- Eat at a rooftop restaurant
- Yoga teacher certification
- Fire dancing ceremony
- Sit front row at a concert
- Learn to dock and unload the boat
- Go camping with the kids
- Go to another play
- Join a book club
The next 8
After I put these together, I asked my closest people to look it over and see what they thought. I got input from my sister and brother-in-law and my nephew. These are the next 10 things that I added.
- Roller coaster mountain with Becca
- Do a wheelie
- Do a backflip
- Hike to the flag in Estrella
- Host a limo ride
- Belly dancing with Becca
- Palm Springs with Amy
- Magic wand tattoo
One thing I’ve become really aware of in my life is that things don’t have to…and shouldn’t be forced. I’m going to let numbers 35-40 come to me when they are ready. I’ve got a couple other people I’d like to ask for advice, too.
I was just too excited about this list and wanted to share it with the world in the hopes that you, too, are doing something exciting inn whatever decade of life you find yourself in.