40 Things 40 Taught Me

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” -Frank Lloyd Wright 

Our society glorifies youth. Our society is youth obsessed, actually.  Although I truly do miss a few things about my twenties and thirties,  let me tell you…I LOVE so many of the benefits of my forties. 

Every journey is a little different, but my twenties were about beginning and becoming. I graduated from college, started teaching, made new friends, had new experiences. My thirties were even better. I began understanding myself (& others). I wasn’t at all excited about the fourth decade and for the first year or two I pretty much hated the decade. But then. . . I never thought I’d say I love my forties, but I do!! You see, it was in this decade that I started accepting myself –and others.  I’m ridiculously flawed and I’m finally (!!!) okay with it. Even better, I am able to extend that same grace to others. I’m weird. You’re weird. And it’s all good. 

Here is a collection of 40 things I love about 40+. 

  1. No one cares as much about your health as you do. You must do your research, be your own advocate. The same goes for pretty much every area of your life. 
  2. You are responsible for your own happiness. 
  3. A true friend will be happy for you when you succeed and cry with you when you grieve. Watch for those people and then hold on to them. These are your people! 
  4. Start and end your day talking to God. Read His Word. Sit in His presence. 
  5. No one cares. I don’t mean that in a negative way…. People don’t notice or care if you need to dust, have a pimple,  or if your house isn’t immaculate.  Most people just don’t notice. 
  6. Say “I love you” a lot. Show “I love you” even more frequently. 
  7. Use the good china. My husband and I use this as code for “What are you waiting for?!” Don’t save the expensive perfume or pretty dress or whatever…use it, wear it, enjoy it! 
  8. Just do it. Dreading a chore? Afraid to apologize? Procrastinating?  Just do it. 
  9. Stop being afraid. We are told to “fear not” 365 times in The Bible!!! 
  10. Watch how people treat others and speak about others. It’s true that people reveal who they really are if you’re watching. 
  11. Forgive. You know this, but unforgiveness hurts YOU, not them. 
  12. Sssshhh. Just be quiet sometimes. You don’t have to add to every conversation. 
  13. Pray for those who hurt you. Pray BIG blessings for them. 
  14. Avoid negative people. 
  15. No is a complete sentence. 
  16. Use cash as much as possible. Avoid debt. 
  17. Thank you and please are magic words. Truly. 
  18. A written thank you is classy and it takes all of five minutes.
  19. Grace. Extend it, accept it, embrace it. 
  20. Get your priorities straight. Make a list of your true (not the ones you think you should have) priorities. Now, make a list of where your time, money, attention, and energy go. If they don’t match, make changes. 
  21. Focus on being kind rather than being right or first or best….
  22. Extend mercy. Forgive. Show grace. Give people the benefit of the doubt …Yes, you will be taken advantage of occasionally, but wouldn’t you rather be that guy-the good guy?
  23. Some people don’t like you. They will never like you. You cannot win them over. Shake it off and move on. 
  24. Don’t get into a battle of wills with a toddler. Or a teenager.  Or your spouse. 
  25. Tip well. 
  26. Gravity kinda’ stinks for women our age. 
  27. Find something that soothes you that isn’t food or drink…I am waaay too quick to want to go to food to numb out or “medicate” after a hard day. I’m trying to retrain myself to pray, write,  talk to a great friend, take a walk, hop in the rocking chair on our patio, or take a long bath instead. It’s not going well, but I’m trying. 
  28. There are friends for a reason, friends for a season, and lifelong friends. Don’t be afraid to say a fond farewell to friends. True friendships take time and energy (precious commodities). Choose wisely. 
  29. Read the reviews, but make up your own mind. 
  30. Give. 
  31. We lose nothing by praising others, complimenting others, applauding others. 
  32. Call your parents frequently. 
  33. Make sure you’re pleasant to be around. Yes, you’re human. Yes, you get to vent. But…make sure 90% of the time you’re adding to a situation with your positive attitude and sweet spirit. 
  34. Stop whining and complaining. See #33. Oh y’all…I know. But think back to that person who always complains. I’ve literally hidden in grocery stores and turned around to retrace my steps at work to avoid that guy. Please. Let’s all agree to not be that guy. 
  35. Find the thing that makes your heart soar. My hubby loves flying. I love creating. It soothes my soul like nothing else. Some of my precious friends enjoy gardening, scrapbooking, and cooking. Take a few moments today to think of what makes you feel alive. Now find time to enjoy it. 
  36. Don’t let anyone dictate your likes, dislikes, passions, or hobbies. Undoubtedly, you have things you think you should like or do.  I should like cooking, but I don’t. My hubby accepted this about me long before I did. So, we do takeout and easy things most evenings. What a relief to acknowledge and finally accept this truth. I loved creating jewelry for years. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on this hobby. It was pure joy. And then it wasn’t. You have no idea how freeing it was to sell and give away the beads and supplies. I’m sure you have a few things that you don’t enjoy, but think you should. I give you permission to no longer pursue them. 
  37. No name is above the name of Jesus. 
  38. Don’t worry about what people say, think, or do if you can stand before God knowing you did the right thing. 
  39. Let. It. Go. If you can’t change it, pray and leave it with God. This will change your life. 
  40. Your thoughts and words will determine your quality of life. 

I could do without age spots, wrinkles, and gravity taking its toll, but I rather love feeling happier and more content than ever before. What do you like (or hate) about aging? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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