This week I turned forty. So that got me thinking about why turning 40 isn’t that bad. If you are worried about aging, there are lots of perks.
This week, I turn forty. Can I be honest? I was having a hard time with it. Seriously, what happened? I was just in my twenties. My thirties went by so quickly. As I approached my birthday, I started to feel old. So that got me thinking. What does being forty feel like? Or maybe more to the point, “how am I different at forty?” I began to realize, there are actually a lot of perks at this age. Here are my reasons why turning 40 isn’t that bad.
You Don’t Care About Being Cool
I finally made it! I don’t care about being popular in social groups. I no longer feel the need to be hip or cool. I’m just me. My husband will poke fun at the fact that he has tamed me into a lame mom. At first, I cared, but now…I’m totally comfortable in this stage. Once you hit forty, you’ll realize that there is a lot more important things in life than popularity and fitting in. You find you don’t need the constant validation of the world. After all, that’s exhausting.
You Become Aware of Your Own Mortality
Now that I’m forty I am burying more people, particularly in my parent’s generation. Recently, I’ve become aware of my own fleeting life. Now, this isn’t all gloom and doom. Don’t worry, I’m not writing my own eulogy or making internment plans for myself. Rather, I’m aware that I am in the second half of my life and when that happens, things become more meaningful. Forgiveness becomes easier once you realize that time is short and that most arguments and misunderstandings don’t matter in eternity. Realizing your own mortality helps you make wiser decisions for the future and for your kids. I’m suddenly very aware of how time is precious.
You’re Quick to Kick Toxic Relationships to the Curb
I think by the time you hit forty, you generally lose patience for things that are toxic. That includes people and situations that just aren’t good for you. At this point in life, you’ve become more discerning about who you let into your inner circle. You have standards about how you expect to be treated and you aren’t afraid to tell someone to “take a hike” if they are poisonous or soul-sucking. You also become more aware of when someone is taking advantage of you. Getting older simply means you have no time for jerks in your life.
Being 40 Doesn’t Feel That Old
Being forty is such a weird feeling. I don’t feel particularly old, but I also don’t relate to twenty-year-olds. I find myself asking if I was that dumb and naive at that age! People in their twenties suddenly look and act like teenagers. When did that happen? I don’t feel as young as I did when I was in my twenties. I’m less energetic and not nearly as spry as I was and yet, I don’t feel old yet. I have a ton of grey hair sprouting all over my head that reminds me that I’m experienced.
You Wish You Would Have Saved More
When you are young, you think you have all the time in the world. Money? You have plenty of time to earn that! Wrong. You only have so many years you can work and as far as companies are concerned you have a shelf life. People in their late fifties and early sixties are pushed out of companies because of their big salaries and their productivity level. You want to leave your kids something and you realize that you may have to live off your retirement savings for decades. You suddenly realize how important it is to save money.
There is No More Condescension Because You’re Young
I can only think of one person who still treats me like I’m a child and that’s my mother, but I think its common for moms to always be moms. Everyone else treats me like the forty-year-old that I am. Experienced. Wise. Worthy of respect. At this age, you finally know a thing or two. You feel like you have more equality with peers and you feel well-rounded.
Your Peace Becomes a Priority
One thing that has changed as I’ve grown older is how much I value peace. I find I have no time for drama, nosy people, or things that stress me out. I detest busyness and value “me time.” I appreciate quiet time, a full prayer life, and personal relationships before anything else. I’m choosy about how I spend my time. You become more comfortable saying “no” to people and situations.
You Become More Practical
I’m not saying that you suddenly give up on dreams or goals when you become middle-aged. But what I will say is that you become more practical about goals. These days my goals are more realistic. Your priorities shift too. You become satisfied with the smaller things in life. The things that really matter. Designer labels and status symbols don’t matter to me anymore. I roll my eyes at fashionistas and I don’t care what shoes I have as long as they are comfortable. I’m happier at this age because I have found contentment in simple living.
You Become Kinder to Yourself
This may or may not be true for everyone, but it has certainly become true for me. At this age, I’m way kinder to myself. I’ve become better at taming my inner critic. It’s become easier to accept myself the way I am. I’ve learned to slow down and give myself time to rest and recharge. I give myself grace and room for mistakes, something I never did when I was young. I was harsh with myself. Some of the insecurities take a back seat and you discover a whole new kind of confidence. These days, I’m gentle with how I treat myself.
Good Health Becomes A Blessing
It’s true. I think around this age you stop taking your health for granted. People around you are having health issues and you begin to realize that good health is a blessing and something that requires conscientiousness. You start to realize if you want to see your children grow and have children of their own, you need to take care of yourself.
You Realize Most Problems Aren’t The End of the World
When I was younger, I fretted a lot more. I will always worry more than my husband, but I still worry a lot less than I used to. Experience tells you that most of our problems work out and often for the better. Many things we worry about never even happen. You gain perspective and learn to let problems play out. You realize that everything will be okay. Finally, you figure out that tough seasons don’t last. It becomes clear that disappointment isn’t the end of the world and that success is never a straight line.
Tell Me What You Think
As it turns out, turning 40 isn’t that bad. If you are over forty, I would love to hear about how you feel about your age. How have you changed as you’ve grown older? What is different about you in middle age?