I’m going to sound cliché but age is state of mind. Yes, our bodies get older. Our hair turns gray. But the way we feel is all up to us.
Why being over 40 is awesome
I will never forget the words that came out of my mouth during a lunch with a co-worker about 15 years ago. I was 28. I had a house in the burbs, a beautiful baby, a rose garden, a job at a gorgeous museum, you name it. After a few bites of my (very savory) chicken salad on a lovely Spring day, I sadly said “I feel old. First the time in my life, I feel really old.”
I remember feeling exhausted and weighed down by life. I had a lot on my plate, there was no doubt about that. But looking back, it wasn’t the lack of sleep or long days that made me feel what I referred to as “old.” I now know that it was the toxicity that I was allowing into my life (but didn’t know better). It was the thoughts in my head that made me doubt myself, worry and subsequently cause myself a lot of unhappiness that didn’t need to be so. No matter how much I had, I wasn’t happy because my mind was in a perpetual race. It left me feeling overwhelmed, mentally drained and, well, old.
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I’m sure that 28 year old would see the age of 43 as a countdown to the grave. She would not believe it if I told her, hey, feeling old is a state of mind. You’re young, get a grip and he happy with where you are. She wouldn’t have listened. She had a lot of things to do, people to see and places to go while trying to be mother of the year. Who has time to listen to reason when you have so much to accomplish because…?
They say, youth is wasted on the young. So true, my friends. Here I am, 15 years older and I feel younger (even with my crappy jaw joints) and happier than I’ve ever been.
Being over 40 is awesome. Here’s why:
We know the power of no. We’ve already said yes. A million times. For a million reasons. We didn’t want to disappoint. We didn’t want to let what we thought was a great opportunity fly by. We wanted to be liked.
At 40, we’re over it. We know when to say yes and when to say No. Nope. Nah. Never. Why? Because we learned the harsh lessons that came from saying yes all of the time. We felt tired. Used. Overwhelmed.
We honor our time and respect people enough to not promise something we simply cannot deliver. And we’re OK with it.
We want quality friendships.
Long gone are the days of good-time Charlies and fair-weather friends. We want to have real discussions with trustworthy people, who get it. Lies, games, gossip is a big-time nope.
We want real friendships, real conversations (in person) with people we enjoy and who share a similar outlook on life.
We’ve got nothing to prove.
We’re past feeling the need to fit into anyone’s ideals about the way we should live, what defines success and what happiness looks like. In our 20s and 30s, we’re constantly measuring ourselves up to others (who’s a better mom, who has a cooler pad, who’s more accomplished at work).
When we’re older, that need to prove ourselves starts to diminish. We look look our self as the stamp of approval. We set those standards now. We don’t need things like social media likes to to validate your feelings. We know that we cannot please everyone (we’ve already tried that route). We know what’s best for us and that only we can define our own happiness.
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We have experience.
We’re young enough to enjoy the good things in life, but a heck of a lot wiser. We’ve accumulated lessons learned and experiences that enable us to enjoy the smaller things in life.
Comfortable in our own skin.
We’re smart enough to know that media marketing has nothing to do with what real beauty is. We know that we’re simply not represented well (if at all), and that it’s up to us love every inch of ourselves. We know and own our style, and dress in what makes us feel good (and empowered). We see our inner beauty, and we know that makeup or a designer outfit is going to do the trick. It comes from within.
This list can go on and on. There’s so much celebrate as we get older. That 28 year old hadn’t a clue. Sure, she was driven. She made some great choices. And she was smart as a whip. But she didn’t have the insight that comes with experience. She didn’t know that she was on the journey that would lead her to happiness and peace of mind.