The year of 40

It’s here.

My forties.

As of 11:15pm tonight, I will officially be 40 years old.

1978

Damn.

It that really possible? That I’m 40 already?

I don’t feel 40.

Ok, well, that’s a lie. Sometimes my knees feel 40 and all the grey underneath the hair dye might just give you a clue of my actual age. And honestly, I think “get off my lawn” way more often than I should. I mean, kids these days! But my mind is set promptly around 30. (I have no desire to be much younger than that ever again.)

I had been feeling pretty good about turning 40 up until a few months ago. It’s like my body decided to play tricks on me — all of a sudden there are new wrinkles, new age spots and what the hell is happening to my hands?

Deep breaths.

I’m ready for this. Ready for 40.

You see, I’ve decided that I’m not going to celebrate just my birthDAY. Nor am I just going to celebrate my birth month. This birthday I’m celebrating the whole entire YEAR.

I’ve come to this conclusion that we’ve got it all wrong. I am (hopefully) at the midway point in my life. In fact, based on some of my family genes, I’m not even there yet. So why am I fretting? The first half of our life WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING. The second half? We finally have some semblance of a clue. So yes, I’m celebrating that.

Welcome to the year of 40.

I have big plans this year that all go along with my word of the year – fellowship. First of all, I plan to celebrate all my friends who follow after me. If there’s a get together, I’m going to go. If there’s a dinner invite, mark me as a yes. Someone wants a girl’s trip? Count me in.

Then I’m going to plan little birthday commemorations all year long – a big family trip, smaller long weekends away – at the beach, mountains OR BOTH, impromptu outings, a random movie, coffee with friends. This year is about celebrating LIFE and I intend to do it well.

I’m also ready to let go of some things and to accept others.

Here is what I’m taking into my forties with me.

Less guilt.
Let’s face it. I’m a mom AND a wife, so I’m not entirely sure that I can let go of all the guilt completely, but I’m ready for less. At 40 years of age, I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking an afternoon to myself or for traveling alone or doing something just for ME. Everyone deserves this. EVERYONE.

Acceptance of who I am and who I’m not.
I’ve spent far too much time lamenting personality traits that I don’t have. I know who I am now…after all those years of doubt. I know my strengths and weaknesses. It’s time to own it and not look back.

Committment to health
Minus the extra layer on my stomach, I’m probably in better shape than I have been for most of my life. I want to continue with eating healthier and exercising regularly. And if I don’t make it to the gym or I have that piece of cake, I’m going to be okay with it. (See less guilt above.)

Here’s what I’m letting go of:

The desire to please everyone
As a natural born people-pleaser, this is going to be tough for me. But not everyone is my cup of tea, and I’m not going to be theirs. AND THAT IS OKAY. There is no way for me to make everyone happy all the time.

The comparison game
We all do this. It’s hard not to. But I’m done with the “oh look what she has or look what she did”. Jealousy is normal. But I can’t compare myself to anyone else but me. I’m just going to be over here being the best Erin I can.

Things I didn’t do
Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t do them. End of story. Leave it be and move on.

Age is just a number. It doesn’t define you.

I truly believe the best is yet to come. Welcome to the middle ages!

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Comments

  1. says

    I have so much to say on this! I loved turning 40 because of all the things you are looking forward to. I had a new look on life. I will give you one piece of advice now that I’m nearing 50. I didn’t take care of my skin and body like I said I would, I still feel great but now those little lines have gotten worse, my energy levels went down, peri-menopause set in to really screw shit up. Please if you don’t already, find your anti-aging products, regularly moisturize, take your vitamins, add healthy foods to your diet, and try to stay active. I know it’s a lot but if these aren’t things that you already do start adding one at a time to make them all habits!

  2. says

    Congrats! This is my 40th year too. I’m not handling is as gracefully as you are yet. I will get there though. Just need a little more deep breathing. : )

    • Erin L. says

      It comes and goes. Be kind to yourself. And just imagine all the great things you’ll do this decade. Happy Early Birthday!

  3. says

    Loved reading this Erin and I can tell you, that life only gets better! Especially if you take on the commitments, acceptance, etc. that you mentioned. Life is short but it can be OH SO SWEET!!! ❤️
    Belle

  4. says

    Yes to all of this! I will be 44 this year and so far 40’s has brought a lot of clarity. I find myself telling my kids that a lot of mountains they make out of molehills are truly no big deal in the grand scheme of life.

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