Ever since I was young I have wanted to be forty.
Not in the ‘wishing my years away’ sense but with this strange ingrained knowledge that I would love turning 40 and that in fact, my 40’s would be MY decade. And when I say since I was young, it was probably in my early 20’s that I first had the thought that reaching 40 would be my holy grail of ages.
As I turn 40 this week, I think back to why that was…
Why as a young 20 year old with the world at my feet and opportunities galore, did I aspire to be 40?
I think it was because my 20’s were full of mistakes.
My heart breaks were from my own doing as much as the surprises life can throw us. I had my heart broken and I broke some hearts as well. I was careless with my relationships and mostly only thought of myself and how things would impact me. Much like a teenager but with way more responsibility and resources. I made some choices that would impact my health for the rest of my life.
I did do some amazing things in my 20’s. I studied, I travelled the world, I lived overseas away from family and friends for quite a long time. I became a naturopath and met the man I was to marry. I also started my career as a clinical naturopath. And just before I turned 30, I walked across the top of Spain on a 1000 km pilgrimage known as the Camino De Santiago to reflect on my 20’s and usher in my 30’s.
Even as I was saying goodbye to my 20’s I still felt that my 30’s would be tough. I just had this knowing. I still wanted to go through it of course, but I knew 40 would be waiting like a golden light at the end.
And yes, my 30’s have been tough. My 30’s have shown me what I am made of and how strong I am but jesus, they hurt.
My 30’s was the responsible, this is what adulthood is all about type decade. The life lessons came thick and fast because I was ready for them…and because I have an impatient nature, and I wanted to learn it all at once (for anyone in their 30’s reading this, please try not to be impatient. As soon as the universe sees you are ready for what’s next, you will get it and it can be quite hard and quite painful to keep up!)
So along with all that becoming a parent entails (and if there is anything to help teach you about yourself and what life is all about, doesn’t parenthood just kill in this area!?) I learnt that I had to fully break before I could move forward again.
Post natal depression and nearly losing our son were the two biggest catalysts for my growth and change in this decade. There was also losing loved ones, family struggles, health struggles and personal struggles with my weight (spoiler alert for people with weight issues, it’s not AT ALL about the weight) And also finding a comfortable place to call home. We moved homes several times in my 30’s including travelling around Australia in a van trying to find the ideal spot. Turned out the spot we ended up in was the one we left from. It was also the decade where I realised my career involved being more than a naturopath, it involved being an entrepreneur and that brought a whole new dimension to who I was (and along with that came more lessons of course).
I loved becoming a parent twice over and becoming a homeowner and starting my own business. These are all amazing things. But I was tested and tried at every corner…and to be honest, I feel a little exhausted looking back on it. In love with my life…but thoroughly exhausted by it.
So I’m about to turn 40 and I couldn’t be more excited or happier. I truly believe this decade is about to give me somewhat of a rest (touching wood as I type this of course) and I already feel so much more in control of how I react to my life and what it throws at me. I also feel so much freer from caring about what others think of me and what I do. I still love fiercely but I am so much more careful of my heart and of other people’s hearts.
I am going to celebrate turning 40 by jumping out of a plane this Friday (on my actual birthday). I will go up in the plane holding onto everything I have learnt and I will leave behind my 30’s up above the earth and jump excitedly into my 40’s! Then there will be a hell of a party the next day with friends and family. I will be dressed as Alice in Wonderland for this movie character themed party of mine because I often feel like Alice. Wondering what this will do or what that will do and which way to go next….and I often feel like life can be just one big rabbit hole to fall down. But I honestly love the fall and wouldn’t miss any of it for the world.
So to sum up for anyone wanting my opinion on ages – your 20’s are for exploring, making mistakes and working out what you don’t like and what you do like.
Your 30’s are mostly about learning all the lessons (properly) that you put in motion during your childhood and your 20’s. Putting roots down and becoming more sure of yourself and how to go about being you.
My projection on what the 40’s are for is to enjoy all the benefits you are afforded after putting the hard work in earlier. Sure there will still be the lessons but you will take them more in your stride. You can have lower stress levels because you’ve worked out the best way to manage this within yourself. You will care a lot less about what others think of you because you finally realise, the most important opinion of you is held by yourself. I believe your 40’s contain more freedom due to all of these points and I think this is what I have been looking forward to so much.
I know I am still only a baby still in the big scheme of my life. I have no idea what my 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and beyond will bring. But I do feel sure of my 40’s. I have faith that what I have felt for so long is about to come to fruition and I’ve made it here relatively unscathed and super excited to celebrate this decade with all the energy, motivation and happiness I hold within me.
I wanted to share my ’40 truths so far’ in this blog for anyone that might already be 40 or about to turn 40 or perhaps even find out if anyone else, has always thought that their 40’s was going to be their decade too? And especially for those that feel weird about turning 40 (I don’t know why this is but I have seen many people resist turning 40 for some reason?) I want this blog to change your mind about this milestone age.
So here are the 40 truths I’ve learnt before turning 40:
- There is a lesson in everything, some are big and some are small but you can learn from EVERYTHING
- Nothing is random
- We attract what we are ready for
- There is so much freedom walking down the beach in your size 18 swimsuit, no towel, no sarong, just you and your beautiful swimsuited body carrying you across the sand in the sunlight
- The most important part of your existence are the people you love
- The bulk of your time needs to be spent just being with these people
- Mistakes are how we learn and should be embraced. Without them, it’s hard to move forward
- Be vulnerable and always ask for help if you need it. There is so much beauty and goodness that comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable
- Don’t be fooled by the illusion of having control over anything. Relax. Nothing is in your control 😉
- Don’t keep hold of anything you haven’t worn, looked at or used for a year. Its meant to have a new home
- Know that most people live with anxiety and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing
- Sometimes no matter what you do to fix something, it’s going to remain broken
- Love what’s broken
- Letting go of what you no longer need to carry around is the greatest gift you can give yourself
- Keep trying new foods. Your palate changes over the years and it’s fun to yell ‘I like this now!’ with a surprised look on your face
- Stretch marks are your battle scars and they are as beautiful as the rest of you
- If you are a parent to more than one child and one child is harder to parent than the other, know that they are more like you and need even more of your compassion and understanding
- Your sleep is going to keep changing, you often get less than what you think you need but you cope anyway
- It’s ok to let go of some friends. Most friendships go through phases and the good ones will always come back to you
- Your parents take on different roles whether they know it or not, are living or dead. They will always be your teachers
- You and your significant other will also go through many phases. They too will always be your teacher
- Don’t waste time wishing you were somewhere else or looked differently. Things are always how they are meant to be so look at that lesson. The lesson of what is.
- Spend less time on screens. You have to manage your technology time wisely or your relationships will suffer
- Write a bucket list and cross something off that list every year
- You only have one life
- Don’t be too hard on yourself when you repeat the same mistakes. Some things take a HEAP of practice and that’s ok
- Makeup and designer clothes don’t make you look beautiful. YOU make you look beautiful.
- Spend your money on experiences instead of stuff
- Always say you are sorry
- Seek out laughter as often as possible. Watch funny movies, comedians and spend time with people who make you laugh
- Set some personal boundaries wherever needed. With work, people, children, technology. Stick to them
- Your health is your most precious commodity
- Seeking counseling or seeing a psychologist at some point in your life should be mandatory. View your mental health as importantly as your physical health and give it as much time as it deserves
- Your mental health and physical health are one and the same and your health care regime needs to be approached from both angles
- Always try to say what you mean and mean what you say
- Don’t follow fad diets
- The only answer to most of your problems is the strength inside of you and it will come out when you are ready
- Take as many mental health or rest days as possible
- Take some risks. Life is risky anyway so you may as well push past your comfort zones to see what else is possible
- No matter what state you find yourself in, know that you are whole, you are complete and you are perfect just as you are
If only these truths could come hardwired in our brain from birth hey? But where’s the fun in that? 😉
In full transparency, I want to end this blog with my last truth. I thought I needed to lose a stack of weight to feel ‘Fabulous at Forty’ and I guess my best Birthday present ever has been the very recent realisation that I don’t need to do that.
Maybe the weight will come off one day, maybe it won’t. Either way, I think I’m pretty fabulous for making it to forty with this many truths and I will shine my light no matter what my outside looks like. It feels so great to finally not give a stuff about this. I’ve let myself off the hook and what a great gift that is.
Yours in Health,