I have been fearing this word for about twenty years and it makes me want to say the other F word but it is fast approaching so I am just going to have to say it..... I am FORTY!
Well not officially until Sept 8th but it is pretty damn close!
I remember being in my twenties out a bar and seeing, what I considered to be “older ladies” (like 40) and thinking “aren't you too old to be out? Like you’re basically dead.” My twenty year old twinkie wisdom and now I am one of the “older ladies” out and I am far from almost dead.
So what have I learned?
It is amazing how your perception of age changes the older you get. I can remember my mom saying "you may age on the outside but you feel no different on the inside" which I have learned is a completely true statement. I still feel like I haven't been out of school that long...then I do the math and its been over 20 years, like where the hell did the time go?
With those 20 years has come a lot of growth: mentally, emotionally and some physically ( like an extra 20 pounds). Being in an industry that is predominantly women, the consensus seems to be that your 40's are the best years of your life. Really?! The best years!?! And the reasoning they give is this: you give less F#*k's (yes the other F word). In my twenties, I was pretty self absorbed, though I knew everything (and could still wear a low rise jean without muffin top). In my thirties, I realized I knew nothing and that my mother was right about everything (so annoying). I was basically just trying to make it through the day (thanks to the sleep deprivation caused by the oh so adorable children I decided to have). Working my ass off for the house, the car, the competing with the Jones...sound familiar to anyone?
Then along came 40....and all my clients are right: you just don't give a F$*k anymore and not in a bad way. I have learned to say no (which I feel is a hard one for women), I don't care what other people think of me (as it’s none of my damn business anyways) and the only person I compete with anymore is myself.
My advice to my twenty something friends: the sooner you realize that you don't know everything, the better. Asking for advice and help is something I wish I would have done sooner. Go to therapy - life is hard and sometimes you just need someone to talk to and tell you that you aren’t crazy (I didn't learn this until my thirties, after my divorce). Find your people - the ones that would help you bury a body (not literally), those ones are special. Stop competing with others - the only person you should be competing with is yourself, just be a little better than the day before and I promise you will get there.
Time really does go fast, but when your are in the daily grind just trying to get through it, for the love of God just slow down, make the time. Seriously, make the time. And the hardest lesson you will ever learn is that people’s opinion of you is none of your damn business nor should you care. You should only value the opinions of those people who add value to your life... for everyone else, kick them to the curb. So, the next time you look in the mirror, truly see the amazing woman looking back at you... and take care of your damn skin, put SPF on because no one wants to look their age! Here’s to another 40 xo