Is it “Over the Hill” or is 40 the new 20? Here’s a look at 40 lessons I’ve learned through turning 40.
Last week I turned the big 4-0 and people keep asking me how I feel about it. The truth is, I feel excited!
As I’ve moved through different seasons I’ve encountered new lessons at each decade of life. Lessons on the value and power of each of those times and what it means to be alive. On what it means to be fully human, fully myself.
I’ve learned some of those moments are part of a thread that continues through all of my experiences. While others are precious memories that contribute to my history, but do not define my present. And as I change, I’m recognizing which shifts I am comfortable settling into and which I will do the work to maintain in order to be the whole and healthful person I desire to be.
When I think about it, I’ve got 4 decades of learning, growing, and trial & error as a foundation to move into this next decade of life. That makes me feel incredibly grateful! So I really am excited to see what I will learn and discover next, the ways I will grow and mature further into my being.
So on that note, here are 40 lessons I’ve learned through turning 40. (Along with a few photos, just for fun). 😉
40 Lessons Through Turning 40
1. Life moves in cycles
2. Balance is not a scale, but rather a flow. It’s not necessarily about having the right amount of each thing all at once, but that over time things balance out.
3. You have a direct impact on your environment
4. Nature is Healing
5. Music is magical; actively keep it in your life
6. Rest is critical and often involves effort to achieve
7. Authenticity requires that you express yourself
8. You can trust yourself (and still trust God)
9. Hair grows back
10. Overcoming fear takes practice
11. The mind is a powerful force
12. You truly can create your world
13. It’s okay to not have the perfect words/plans/ideas, just start and work with what you have
14. And nurture the relationships that give you space to do so (#13)
15. Life is meant to be celebrated
16. The occasional low moments do not define you, your day, or your life
17. Some people (*points to self*) process externally and learn about themselves by talking to others and expressing feelings outwardly
18. Your words have the power to create
19. There is space for your emotions
20. You are the only one responsible for your happiness
21. You cannot be responsible for the happiness of others
22. Don’t make up stories for what is happening with/in another person. If it is important, it’s always better to ask.
23. Other people do not think like you do. If you assume what someone is thinking you will almost certainly be wrong
24. People want to be seen and heard. You can be and provide a safe space for that
25. Clutter and organizational disorder can cause emotional distress
26. Your body is amazing
27. The mother can also provide tender mothering to herself
28. And she can allow herself to be mothered by others
29. Get outside to refresh and reset
30. You are the foundation of your health & wellness team
31. Starting the day focusing on you for at least 15 minutes, even if it means waking up earlier, is essential to a peaceful morning
32. Playing in the dirt is restorative
33. Each living thing is interconnected and has direct and indirect impacts on one another
34. All of your past experiences have lead you to who you are today, and contribute to what you will do tomorrow
35. Your children can be the biggest impetus to pursue healing – they will show you your hurts, no matter how deeply buried they’ve been
36. Your body is always giving signals to keep itself well and as you age, those signals become harder to ignore
37. God is bigger than we could even hope to comprehend. And that is so encouraging
38. Intention makes all the difference
39. Still, be mindful of the intentions you set forth
40. Everyone needs a village
Have any of these lessons shown themselves to be true in your life? What would you add from your time on this planet? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!