What I learned after I turned 40
I want to share with you what I learned after I turned 40. The majority of my friends are at least a decade older than I am. So when I was in my early 20’s I started hearing things like “When you turn 40 your body falls apart”. Little did I know that they were right. What they didn’t tell me, though, is that you also undergo a psychological metamorphosis. Suddenly you realize you’re closer to retirement than you are to your college graduation. You also realize that your most energetic income producing years are behind you. The up side to that realization is that a veil falls away and you are free from the burdens and pressures of youth.
As another blogger put it, upon turning 40, I released version 4.0. It’s the more emotionally stable version. In short, I dumped the baggage I had been carrying around for decades and decided what was important in my life.
The focus of this article is what I learned after I turned 40. If you’re reading it, then you want to know what to expect, right? These are a few of the things I learned after I turned 40:
- It’s a LOT harder to lose weight. I’ve never been lithe and skinny, but now I’m fat. Get over it. We all end up with chicken wings and turkey waddles.
- You have to have a plan. For everything. Do you know where you want to end up before you die? Do you know what you are going to do once your parents die? Once your kids leave home? If the economy tanks after retirement? When the house you raised your kids in is too big for you and your spouse to care for?
- Toxic people will suck the life out of you. In my experience, the toxic people are family members.
- No matter how early you try to get healthy, hormones and middle age will ruin your hard work.
- I should have started saving for retirement when I was 2.
- Cute clothes aren’t worth the trade-off for comfort. Same goes for shoes.
- I don’t have to bite my tongue anymore. I still try to be tactful, but if you ask for my opinion, you’re going to get an honest one.
- It doesn’t matter how clean I keep the house, it’s going to get trashed anyway.
- People create their own drama, including me.
- Change isn’t necessarily bad. We are creatures of habit, but if you want to continue to grow, look for opportunities.
- Situations don’t change themselves. If I don’t like the direction my life is heading, I have to be the one to take action.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- Love more. Enable less.
- Money spent on the right tools is worth the expense.
- Drinking eight glasses of water does make a difference.
- Saying “No” is okay. No to social gatherings, no to people who bring you down, no to pushy people.
- It’s easier to spot narcissists and sociopaths which makes it easier to avoid them.
- I’m happier with people I actually like and don’t feel pressured to be around the ones I don’t.
- I’ve learned to listen. Really listen. To what’s NOT being said.
- Joy, happiness and contentment come from within.
- Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. (Thank you, DJ, for teaching me the wisdom of that.) Enjoy what’s going on around you, your kids grow up FAST.
I know that I still have a lot to learn. Especially about relationships. Being in my 40’s doesn’t scare me though. I will look forward to the challenges, I will mourn the loss of loved ones, and I will treasure the little things.
What have you learned since turning 30, 40, 50 and beyond? What advice would you give?