40 thoughts on turning 40


Today I turn forty. There is something about this birthday. I feel closer to my mother, like I can better understand who she was as a woman. The memories I have of my mother involve her being in her 40’s, 50’s and very early 60’s. We lost her to lung cancer on April 30, 1999, at age 62.

There are a few truths I have uncovered about myself, society and life in general, now that I’ve reached what could potentially be the half-way point in my life. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. I have no white or grey hair – that’s excellent.
  2. My body sometimes sounds like a certain breakfast cereal – snap, crackle, pop.
  3. I maintain they are freckles, not age spots, sprinkled on the backs of my hands.
  4. I look at young drivers waiting at red lights next to me and think they look 12.
  5. The music on the radio these days – great beat, completely pointless and message-less lyrics. Example: ‘Baby, be my ooo-la-la’? Seriously?
  6. Having children later in life means one night of interrupted sleep takes three nights to recover from. Not like the old days – go to bed at 3 am, work at 6 am and still have energy.
  7. Appreciate the wisdom that time and experience brings. ‘This too shall pass’ is my go-to mantra.
  8. My body is the only one I have. The better I treat it, the better it treats me. Something I wish my younger self could have learned. Would have lessened my current health issues.
  9. The realization that people’s opinion of how I look means nothing. If I feel good and think I look good, that’s what matters.
  10. If I live as long as my mother, I only have 22 years to live. My boys will be 25 and 28 when they lose their mother. Not okay with me.
  11. Everyone I meet has issues. Regardless of their income level, title, education or relationship status. They have issues. I’m not the only one.
  12. Wine is a magical liquid. Enjoy the smell, taste and relaxation it brings, rather than simply guzzling to become drunk. This goes for any alcohol.
  13. Honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes keeping things to yourself is the best policy.
  14. Friends are important.
  15. Think about what you loved to do as a child and you’ll discover your gift, talent and true calling.
  16. Reaching out to others and doing what you can to help is the best way to lift your own spirits.
  17. Experiment with cooking. If it doesn’t turn out, wrap it in a bag and put it in the garbage. No one needs to know.
  18. Eat cookies and ice cream when you have the chance. Just do so in moderation and with self-control.
  19. Listen to your children with non-judgmental ears, as soon as they are old enough to speak. This will allow them to share with you, without fear of judgement, when they are teens.
  20. Age is just a number.
  21. Comparing yourself to others is pointless.
  22. Don’t let a day go by without hugging your child. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll be able to do so.
  23. Read. It feeds your mind.
  24. Live as simply as you can.
  25. Mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed about.
  26. Time is a great healer.
  27. Coffee is truly wonderful. It transforms me every morning from grumpy mommy to loving, patient mommy.
  28. Sing. Even if you’re stopped at a red light, with the windows open on your vehicle, sing. The people stopped next to you might look over – just smile and keep singing!
  29. Never pass up the opportunity to hold a baby. They are God’s way of giving society second chances.
  30. Drink water. It does your body good.
  31. Don’t hide from the sun. Wear sunscreen and a hat, of course – but allow Vitamin D the chance to soak into your skin once in a while.
  32. Dance. If your body feels the urge to move, then move.
  33. Make playdough and play with it, whether you have children or not. It’s very soothing!
  34. Accept that people won’t change until they are ready.
  35. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in other people’s drama.
  36. Allow yourself to make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process.
  37. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know.
  38. Forgive yourself.
  39. Record your dreams. They just may contain answers to questions you haven’t asked yet.
  40. Allow yourself to cry. Tears are immensely healing.

Make your own list of truths. If you feel comfortable sharing, please share! Your truths may just be someone’s catalyst for change!

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