I wrote this in my ‘journal’ just a few weeks ago (ok, I don’t have a designated place or time for journaling, I write when I feel inspired and find the time to sit down and put pen to paper, which is random and rare!). While I normally would keep this to myself, the paper ending up lost in a shuffle of recipes, workout tips, and business notes on my desk (or randomly throughout the house) to be discovered months later when an organizing frenzy kicks in…. the big day is coming up quickly and I just really feel like as women we let others’ expectations and our own misconceptions dictate what ‘aging’ means to us. A wise friend said to me the other day, when talking of growing older, that instead of seeing our age as a limit, we should view our number of days lived as a blessing – we should appreciate that we’ve had that much time to love, live, and grow… something so many don’t get the chance to experience. I hadn’t looked at it that way before, but I agree with her completely.
As I read over what I’d written back in June, I realize I’ve embraced that sentiment without putting it so clearly. So here’s what I wrote:
June 18, 2013
“So many approach 40 with fear and sadness that their life is half over – for me, it feels like it’s just begun. Turning 20 felt more scary to me – I was overwhelmed with the ‘adulthood’ that I associated with that number and clueless as to how to live up to it. As I approach 40, I feel two things:
Accomplishment – I’ve pulled myself up from the fear and pushed myself in a positive direction and learned so much about myself and life, and I’ve learned to ask for and accept help in doing this!
Opportunity – I see the brightness of my future shining before me and realize I’m more capable than ever of creating huge goals for my life and accomplishing them. I’m old enough to have grown wiser but not too old to physically do the things I’ve set out to do. I have a family who loves me as I am, no matter how old I get… and I love and appreciate them more with each passing year.
Where some view 40 as sad, I’m looking at it with excitement! Sometimes I think if I could just go back and fix my 20s, do it differently… but now I realize that everything from my past – good and bad – has helped craft the person I am today and affect who I’ll be tomorrow. It’s up to me to use that experience as a stepping stone rather than a crutch. I feel like this milestone is not an end to my youth but rather a beginning – a rebirth and a second chance to live my life the way it should be! I feel grateful for my past, yet ready to let it go and move on into my purpose.”
Do you look forward to birthdays or dread them? What could you do to shift your mindset so that each stage of your life is something to celebrate instead of mourn?