Life Lessons

To All Forty Something Women

You can be forty and fabulous.

It’s soon to be my forty-eighth birthday, and several people have  asked me if I’m sad about getting older.

Am I sad? Not at all. “Do you wish you were younger?” someone asked me recently.

“Are you kidding?” I said, looking at them like they were crazy, “There isn’t an ounce of sadness in me about my age.” I wasn’t just saying this, I was being honest.

“But, you’re just two years from turning fifty,” another friend pointed out last week. (These are my younger friends, by the way, not my forty-something friends.) While this is true, I’m seriously still not sad, stressed, anxious or upset about being close to fifty.

In fact, I’m pretty darn happy about it.

I love celebrating my birthday and believe it’s another year I wasn’t guaranteed to get. This is something I don’t take for granted, and I count my blessings along with my candles. I don’t look at birthdays as getting older, but rather, getting better. And, I do believe women get better in their forties.

You can be forty and fabulous.

By the time we’re in our forties, we’ve stopped trying to be something we aren’t. We’ve embraced who we are, flaws and all, and they don’t seem to matter as much. Impressing other people doesn’t feel as important as it used to be, nor does holding on to guilt or regret. Most forty-something women have made mistakes, learned hard life lessons, and been through difficult challenges. While these have sometimes been painful and hard, there have also been lessons to learn.

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When a woman is in her forties, she becomes more comfortable in her own skin, less focused on proving herself, and more aware of her power.

“Don’t you feel like you know all the secrets about your life?” someone recently asked me when I was speaking to a group of women. I thought about this for a long time, into the night that evening when I was in bed. It is true. A lot of the unknowns about my life have been answered, and I believe most forty-something women would agree. For the most part, we know who we’re going to marry (or divorce), how many kids we’re likely going to have, or not, what our profession is going to be, who are friends are, where we’re going to live, etc.

And, while a lot of the life boxes have been checked off, I’m not ready to call it quits. In fact, I’m actually having fun going back to these boxes, and revising what I previously checked. Life is about growing, and change isn’t a bad thing. You don’t have to stay constant.

I believe every forty something woman can keep growing, fine-tuning, learning more about herself, and getting better. As we get older, the secrets to getting older start to unfold. 

Age is more about your attitude than your number.

It’s more about what you think, than what your drivers license says.

It’s more about the parameters you set for yourself than what society dictates.

If you think you’re done growing, living, exploring, you’re right. If you think the best is yet to come, you’re right.

I’m not naive. I know the older I get, there will be challenges ahead and problems to face and overcome. I’ve seen family members and friends navigate some of the pain and hardships getting older can bring. But, this doesn’t mean I’m not excited about my future, the possibilities of all the dreams I have for myself, and all the fun times I’m looking forward to experiencing.

If you’re forty-something, remember how amazing you are, embrace your age, and  don’t hesitate to rethink some of the choices you’ve made. Life is for the living. Go out and live it, create the life of your dreams and stand in your truth.

Quite simply, be your forty-something fabulous self!

Find meaning each day,

Dara

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