Sooooo, my 40th birthday was yesterday.
I thought it was going to be this big, terrible, scary thing, but you know what? It wasn’t. I feel good, I’m healthy, I’m in an awesome place in my life, and I’ve learned A LOT in this 40 years. So much, in fact, that I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s if you paid me. And I’m not even kitten you right meow.
I celebrated with a margarita lunch, and I wore a tiara all day. I went to Epcot and wore a Happy Birthday button, so tons of people were wishing me a great day, and I dragged my kids and hubby to Medieval Times, because I’m nerdy like that. (Why does the Green Knight always get to win?)
I’m not gonna lie. This past year was hard for me. SO HARD because of personal reasons. And you know what? Life is like that sometimes. You take your knocks. You fight back. You get knocked down, so you get up again, and kick life in the face and you keep going. That’s what adversity and trauma teach you. YOU CAN DO IT. You can make it. You keep getting up in the morning, and you just keep doing it. That’s how you make it to better and brighter days.
I’ve learned a few other things in the past forty years, too. In no particular order, here are 40 bits of knowledge that I’ve banked up:
- You can’t please everyone, so you just have to please yourself. It sounds trite, but it’s true.
- Wear a Pashmina to the airport. It doubles as a blanket if your flight gets delayed.
- Take care of your skin. You’re not going to be 20 forever (thank God!) but having good skin makes you look that way.
- Be your own hero. You can’t always count on someone else swooping in and having your back. So you know what? HAVE YOUR OWN.
- Chocolate chips will do in a pinch when you get a sweet tooth and three’s nothing else in the house.
- Sleep in when you can and order room service in your robe.
- You’re never too old for Harry Potter or DisneyWorld.
- Drink lots of water. It keeps you pretty.
- What you put into the world comes back to you. Karma is real, people.
- Blood isn’t always your family– it’s who you choose.
- What doesn’t kill you really will make you stronger. Or crazy.
- You can dye your hair 12 times in month and it won’t fall out. Probably.
- You can never aim too high. I mean it.
- No one is better than you, and you aren’t better than anyone.
- Laugh lines are totally worth it.
- If you rely on someone else to make you happy or to complete you, you’ll never be happy or complete.
- A good night’s sleep can literally make all the difference.
- Don’t judge yourself too harshly. There are plenty of people in the world who will do that for you.
- To prevent a hangover, drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. I’m serious. It works.
- Don’t drink wine and hard liquor in the same night, though.
- Your mistakes don’t define you.
- Use manners and treat others with respect. it goes a long way.
- Don’t carry hatred. The only person it hurts is you.
- If you don’t try, you won’t fail. But you won’t win, either.
- Your kids will learn to value what you value. So be a good role model.
- TRUST Y OUR GUT. This took me 40 years to really get through my thick head. Your gut will NOT steer you wrong.
- Invest in good shoes.
- Do things that scare you. It will wake you up and make you feel alive.
- No matter how much money you make, save some. Even if you aren’t making much money right now, save a little. Even $5 a week will add up eventually.
- You become like the people you surround yourself with, so choose them wisely.
- Ask for what you want and say what you need. People can’t read your mind.
- Vacations are important. Take them. The memories you make with your family are priceless. Your job comes second to them. When you’re dead and gone, your job will just find someone to replace you. You are irreplaceable to your family.
- Artificial foods/sweeteners can’t be good for you. Don’t eat them. Just use moderation with the real stuff instead.
- Comparison is the thief of joy. (<<– my BFF Michelle Leighton taught me this).
- Feelings aren’t facts. When you get into arguments, don’t use them as such.
- Everyone has their own crosses to bear and demons to fight. Don’t judge them.
- If you don’t have time to shower before bed, at least wash your face and feet. You’ll sleep better. (See #17)
- Vulnerabilities and weaknesses don’t make you weak.
- Never ask if a woman is pregnant, no matter how much she looks like she is.
- It’s ok to paint over chipped toenail polish.
There you have it. These are the things I can think of off the top of my head.
Age is just a number. It really is. Feel fantastic and do fantastic things. That’s what matters. My goal now is to make my 40’s my b@tch. My plan is to make it the best decade of my life so far. I’ve never shirked away from anything in my life, and I’m not about to start now.
Watch out, 40’s. I’m coming for you.
I’m going to do the things that are still on my goal list.
I’m going to write the books that are bursting to get out.
I’m going to take more vacations.
I’m going to stress less about the things I can’t change.
I’m going to keep toxic things out of my life, and keep reaching for more knowledge, more grace.
I’m going to walk in the blood of my enemies. << Ok, fine. That last one was an exaggeration. Lol. But you get the point.
I’ve got this. And no matter what point you are in life, or how old you are, so do you.