40 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 40

Image: Ian Schneider @ Unsplash

In a little over a year, I turn the big 4–0. I have moments of complete panic, although it’s calmed down a bit since I’ve made a ‘To Do Before 40' list, complete with countdown app on my phone.

My mom said she freaked out more at turning 40 than turning 60. My hubby turns 40 this year, and he is in a state of shell shock, saying he doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday at all. My impulse is to be like an ostrich, burying my head in the sand. The newer me, the one who is doing it despite the fear, says to face it head on.

So, in an attempt to be as unostrich-like as possible, I’ve composed a list of 40 things I’ve learned. There is still a year left and I’m sure in that time this list will change. It’ll be interesting to come back in a year and compare notes.

40 THINGS I’VE LEARNED (in no particular order):

  1. I have the power to change my situation.
  2. Success and making my dreams come true is hard work.
  3. My kids’ laughter is the best sound on the planet.
  4. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.
  5. I can be loving, emotional, affectionate, and still be strong.
  6. Compassion for myself is just as important as it is for others.
  7. I will never be perfect, and that’s okay.
  8. Perception changes everything.
  9. I’ll never learn if I never listen.
  10. Get out of toxic situations or relationships ASAP.
  11. Listen to my gut/inner voice/muse.
  12. I am worthy.
  13. Laugh a lot.
  14. Have fun.
  15. Cry when needed.
  16. A dirty house is okay.
  17. Failure is a part of life.
  18. “Be afraid, but do it anyway.” — Carrie Fisher
  19. I AM A WRITER.
  20. Practice kindness daily.
  21. Manners matter.
  22. Be curious.
  23. Sometimes, life sucks. One day at a time.
  24. Get help when needed.
  25. It’s never too late for self-improvement.
  26. Our world is full of wonder. Look for it everywhere.
  27. My body, my rules.
  28. I can’t do everything.
  29. I was (and am) the best mom I can be at that time.
  30. I will never please everyone.
  31. A broken heart heals.
  32. I can’t change the past, but I can decide how it affects my future.
  33. At some point, I will sound like my parents.
  34. Caffeine is a drug and I am an addict.
  35. It is okay to need medication or therapy or a combination of the two.
  36. Connections / relationships with friends and family are important.
  37. Love freely, even if they don’t love you.
  38. Smile more.
  39. Don’t let other people have power over you.
  40. There are no do-overs, but there are second chances.

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