Last year, I hit the big 4-0. It is fair to say I didn’t handle it as well as I could.
I spent about three weeks really pretty upset about the fact that I was officially more than halfway through the US life expectancy and questioned what I had accomplished.
One day, I ran into one of my girlfriends. She’s one of those unique and cherished friendships… you know the kind. The ones that you only see once a year, maybe, and yet you pick up where you left off. She had turned 40 earlier that year.
“Dude, I am not handling this well.”
“No kidding. I didn’t either.”
“Yea, for real. I was really upset about it and you know, I don’t really get very sentimental about things and yet, it really bothered me.”
“How’d you get out of it?”
“Ehh, it took a couple of months, and then I was over it and moved on.”
She was right. About two months after it and for no good reason, I just got on with life.
Forty isn’t just a number – it is a milestone many people don’t make it to.
If you are like me, some of your friends have already passed, never having the chance to experience their own welcoming of 40.
Today, my hair officially is grown out past the color put in it pre-pandemic. Natural gray highlights are now a part of who I am, and I no longer care. I wear my glasses more than I don’t and I am really pretty much done apologizing for eating like a rabbit who occasionally really needs a burger and some chocolate.
I cry at commercials and kid movies where I have no idea what the plot line is, and I am not a big fan of scary anything. I was kind of a stressed-out mess during the toddler years, but I am finding my groove in the big kid years.
I acknowledge that I am not motivated by a paycheck but by the chance to help someone else in some capacity and am abundantly thankful my friends and family give me the grace to float in and out of where my life is at that moment.
And none of that has a thing to do with the number of times I’ve circled the sun.
In fact – if anything – it has given me the chance to step back and let go of how much used to bother me and see people for who they are and be grateful for those walking the path with me in any given moment.
So for my fellow ladies turning 40, it may sting. It is okay; we get it.
But just allow that feeling to settle. Like putting medicine on a wound, the pain may take a second but when it heals, you will move on as if it never happened with maybe a little bit more wisdom than before.