Thursday, August 14, 2014

40-Something or Bust!

On the eve of my 41st, instead of planning a birthday celebration, I had a hot date with Loreal. Always faithful and within budget, she helped me rid myself of pesky gray; an aging occurrence that I am still fighting, but one of the very few things I refuse to accept…just yet. 

This week I jumped the 40 year old hurdle to “40-something”. Many people freak over the thought of 40, much less 40-something. I have to say, I love where I am at this point in my life. I am finally able to appreciate imperfections rather than linger on striving for a perfection that doesn’t exist. 40-something is the age of awareness and acceptance.

- 40-something means finally seeing life’s challenges for what they are worth. As difficult and painful as they may be, they continue to define me…in a good way.

- 40-something means knowing my self-worth and finally having the courage to put a value on my feelings and less value on those who are toxic.

- 40-something means biting my tongue for the sake of others, choosing battles and going to blows as a last resort only.

- 40-something means recognizing that terrible decision making, bad character judgment, mistakes in life, and family dysfunction exist in everyone’s lives at some level. 

- 40-something means a heightened awareness of those who are the first to judge and the last to look in the mirror.

- 40-something means understanding the impact of forgiveness of others and the life-change that occurs by forgiving oneself. 

- 40-something means no longer being a victim of circumstance, but rather a survivor with accountability. 

- 40-something means letting go of the past and the "what ifs" of life and embracing the now.

- 40-something means holding my phone further from my face so I can actually make out words in a text. Those same words force a squint, and, most often, a smile from ear to ear in the middle of a very stressful day.

- 40-something means accepting I can't make everyone happy. I only have control over one person's happiness. My own.

- 40-something means looking at life on a lighter note and loving the view.
- 40-something means that my outfit choice is now weighed more on a scale of comfort, less on a scale of “hip”. It doesn’t mean I’m letting myself go. It means I’m giving myself a break from heels that hurt my feet, unnecessarily showing of thy cleavage, and continuously yanking on a skirt that is just long enough to pass company dress code, but just short enough to be inappropriate for a 40 something. I still look professional AND I don’t have to soak my achy feet at night. Bonus.

- 40-something means waking up to more crow’s feet, and laugh lines. I don’t do needles, therefore I will, happily, do wrinkles. I embrace my flaws and celebrate my strengths.

- 40 something means the transitioning of perspective: from cutting your bangs too short being the end of the world/never leaving the house again to cutting your bangs too short as just being one sucky thing of many that happened to you on that particular day.

- 40-something means finding myself watching my kids and their friends with envy...but more so relief. "Ahh, to be that young and carefree again." -  "Thank the good lord above I don't have to go through that again"

40-something means telling the same story twice to the same friend without realizing it, but hoping it was just as funny the second time around.

- 40-something means gauging my decision making on how many glasses of wine I will allow myself on a random weeknight due to the fact that I have to be a functioning, employed human being the next morning.

- 40-something means walking upstairs to grab something, only to completely forget what that something was and laughing at myself through the frustration. Multiple times a week.

- 40-something means that if you read this and relate, you have reached acceptance status in life. If you read this and fear the 4th decade, greet the inevitable with open arms. If you read this and think I’ve completely lost my marbles, then you’re probably right.

And I’m good with that.

After all, 40-something is the new 20-something….

But better.