I remember as a teenager going to 40th birthday parties with my parents that were decorated with “Over the Hill” signs and lots of black crepe paper streamers. The adults would joke about how old they were and reminisce about their glory days. I thought 40 was SOOOO old. I’m turning the big 4-O this month and I don’t feel old or young, but it does have me asking, “What’s so fabulous about turning 40?” Talking to my friends about aging can be a mixed bag of emotions and some of them are not as thrilled as I am to celebrate 40. However, I have noticed four important things we’re doing more fabulously than we were 10-20 years ago.
LOVING OURSELVES: I don’t know about all of you confident ladies out there, but my friends and I spent a lot of time in our teens and 20’s loathing ourselves. We disliked our physical appearances, we doubted our abilities and we thought we weren’t good enough. Somewhere in our 20’s-30’s we recognized that we needed to love ourselves not because of what we look like, accomplish, or material items we possess, but the way we love others, with kindness, acceptance, forgiveness and support. This love for ourselves encourages us to make better and more fabulous choices as well as take care of ourselves just like we would for everyone else we love.
ACCEPTING: With age we became much more accepting of others and ourselves. We accept that our way isn’t the only way. We accept that sometimes we are going to get it right, wrong and somewhere in between. We accept that life isn’t fair. We accept that we can’t do it all. We accept that we’re different. Accepting has freed us from the comparing/contrasting game which helps us celebrate what others accomplish without thinking less of ourselves. And celebrating is always fabulous.
ASKING FOR HELP: When we were younger there was this strong pull to prove that we were strong, independent and capable women who could accomplish any and everything without anyone’s help. As many of us entered the work force, serious relationships and had children we continued to relish in the glory of doing it all on our own. We thought asking for help indicated weakness and felt our achievements could only be recognized if we did them on our own. By 40 we realized that asking for help is brave and that we can’t and don’t want to do it all on our own. Recognizing that we need help also encourages us to help out others more. Helping is a super fabulous thing to do.
APPRECIATING: In our forty years of life we have loved, lost, celebrated and grieved. We’ve experienced great joys and difficult challenges. We know the days sometimes feel long, but truly grasp how fast the years go by. For many of us our lives are not the way we envisioned them, good and bad, and yet we are all appreciating our lives and health in a way we never did before. We feel fortunate to share our lives with loved ones and appreciate that we are able to turn the fabulous, big 4-O.
I will always reminisce about all of the freedom, fun and friendships of my twenties and my nostalgia for my thirties is strong. It was the decade in which I was married and our three beautiful babies were born, but I am so ready and excited for what my fabulous 40’s will bring! I hope when my children look back at my birthday celebrations they remember how fabulous it is to get older.
What about you; What’s fabulous about your current age? What do you think you’re doing more fabulously than you were 10 or 20 years ago?