Remember when they said that 30 is the new 20? Then shouldn’t mean that 40 is the new 30? Well, I’m here to tell ya, it ain’t. Forty is forty. It comes with ups and downs but it’s still a blessing to be able to see it. But since I have ya’ll here, let’s chat about the things people don’t tell you about turning 40+.
I am 40+ years young. In my 30’s I just knew I would have it all figured out by 40. I thought I would have all the answers and would not have worries and issues. Ha! The joke was on me. Now I admit, I am a little wiser, but I still don’t have it all figured out and I don’t have all the answers. I have experienced heartbreak, depression (I’ll dive into that later), and strife. My life isn’t perfect, I still have hiccups. But my life is so much better than it was in my 30’s.
How you may ask? Because I have learned the tools for dealing with the unexpected. Faith and a genuine support system. It’s true that tough times are temporary.
I have more patience, clarity, compassion, and understanding. My faith is stronger because I have had to lean on God so much. I remember when my first and favorite mother in law would say things like “God doesn’t put more on you than you can handle” and “You’re too blessed to be stressed”. I thought that was a crock of…. well you know.
At 40+, I can attest that what she spoke was pure facts. Everything that my elders would say in my 20’s and 30’s turned out to be true. They weren’t just some old folks spouting out riddles. As they would say, “Just keep living”.
So here’s the skinny on being forty and over.
Realizations About What Knowing it All Means
I thought I really knew the world at 30, but hindsight, I knew still very little. Now at 40…
I finally get it. When I say, “I get it,” I’ve finally realized that status, money, fashion doesn’t make a person rich but family, financial literacy, and health is what makes a life worth living. It’s helped me to focus on what I want out of life rather than what others think about me. It’s an introspective mindset that external factors can’t rock.
Overall, at my age, I’m calmer. I’m willing to give life’s obstacles and lessons more time to understand and maneuver rather than feeling like I’m at a roadblock.
Valuing Time I Have in this Body
When you hit 40, you start thinking about what’s truly important in life because time is winding down. As a woman, your body changes yet again whether it be perimenopause or full on menopause, hormonal weight gain, physical resilience, etc. The hot flashes alone are enough to drive you crazy—I promise to dive into this topic very soon.
With that said, I refuse to waste time on anything that is not productive or worth my while. Time is precious and even more so as you age. If I don’t want to be social, I respectfully decline. If I don’t want to get involved in shenanigans, I remove myself. I have perfected saying “No” without the guilt of what others think of me. I’ve learned that is none of my business. What matters is the quality of my mental health, physical health and my relationship with my loved ones.
Stepping in with Aging Parents
Your parents (if still living) will lean on you as they age. Caring for aging parents along with taking care of your family can be stressful and exhausting. My mother is in her 70’s and unfortunately has had a few health issues. Thankfully, she is still in pretty good health. My older sister and I tag team each other. Since I live in a different state, she’s able to take on a more physical aspect and I take on a more virtual aspect. When my mother had eye surgeries, my sister took her for her surgeries and follow up doctor appointments. While I made sure that had the details about her care. My sister is very squeamish, so we have created a perfect balance. It’s a blessing that we are able to help her where we can. See how the tables turn?
My mother and I are closer now than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. Growing up we had a difficult relationship. I thought she didn’t love me or even like me. I thought she was the meanest woman alive.
Now, we have deep conversations from current events, reminiscing about back in the day, to what she endured growing up and her life’s experiences. I go to her for advice, recipes, etc. She’s explained that she knew she was hard on me and my sister, but it was because she was trying to raise independent women. My mother was a single mother just figuring out it as she went. We know there’s no handbook on parenting. As a mother of 2 young adults, I completely understand. She was hard on us because she loved us. She sacrificed so much so that we wouldn’t go without. Now, I’m not saying everything she did was right, but she did the best she could do with what she had. But I’m happy to report that my sister and I are very independent women that have done well for ourselves. We are caring, loving and always ready to help wherever we can.
I had to learn how to take care of myself first so that I can care for my mother and family.
At 40 something, you discover so much about who you are; you usually know what you want and need out of life, people, and situations. One of my biggest lesson this point in my life, is that saying “no” to things and people that do not bring me joy, peace, or value is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle over 40. Did miss anything? I need my 40 and over readers to share a lesson they’ve learned at this point.
Be kind, Be Grateful, Be You!