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About to turn 40


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I'm about to turn 40 and I'm very disappointed in myself for how my life has turned out. I've always held out hope that it would get better, but it simply hasn't. It's worse now than when I was in my 20's. Despite getting educated finally, I have a job I hate. I have no home to call my own, and one child is dead the other lives with her dad and honestly what do I have but a miserable existence.


I could practice gratitude but I'm not feeling it right at the moment.


I'm slowly losing hope for a brighter future. Now I'm no longer checking the 30-39 box but the one that means I likely won't be hired by anyone, because I'm too old with little to no experience in that field. Having a poor me moment I guess. My real plan is to find a descent part-time job and get back into insurance part-time until I can make it full-time. But that job I hate that I'm currently working is taking so much out of me that I can barely function outside of work. Maybe I posted in the wrong category. I'm growing older and don't know how to deal and time is running out.

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Hang in there, Jetta. When I turned 40 I decided that it was my new chapter--a chance for a new start with a head start on maturity.


Really, if youth was a drag, then why not embrace maturity as an improvement?


If you want to trap yourself into a view of 40 as 'old,' then you're writing off at least half of your life. It's MIDDLE age, not old age.


It might help to dig into pop culture or science or politics or whatever area interests you, and find some women older than you who you admire. Let them be your lighthouse.


Head high. You may not only end up 'liking' this, but if you leave room for the liberation that comes from dropping the insecurities of youth, you could see more doors opening than you can conceive of from limited sight distance.


I never thought I could love my 40's, but the only thing that has topped them is my 50's.



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So sorry to hear about your son, Jetta - that's one of those terrible life experiences that we're really not prepared for at all.


However... as regards getting older... just before my 50th birthday, and on the day itself, I wanted to find a hole somewhere, climb into it and just never come out. However, the following day and ever since then, I've just had a sense of feeling much lighter, and not really giving a **** about things which in the great scheme of things don't really matter - as catfeeder says, 'the liberation that comes from dropping the insecurities of youth'. I have a very youthful friend who's in his 60's, and I asked him if he'd experienced the not giving a **** about things which had once greatly preoccupied him. He responded that he no longer gave a **** about giving a **** - and that it was actually getting better all the time.


There's nothing you can do about the past, apart from grieve it, learn from it and carry the wisdom into your future. Your external circumstances may not improve, but you can vastly improve the way you look at them and handle them.


You don't know what the future will bring, but it sounds as though you do have plans and focus. Your life hasn't finished 'turning out' yet, and hopefully you'll have several decades ahead in which to write a future where you can thrive.


Good luck!

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Oh my gosh, haven't you heard 'Life beings at 40'? You still have a full half of your life left, and frankly the key to being happy is to stop measuring yourself against other people and how things 'should' go, and start reaching out and taking advantage of all the wonderful and exciting things that life has to offer.


So the first half of your life has disappointments... I don't mean to minimize your pain, but EVERYONE'S life has disappointments. People get divorced, lose loved ones, have illnesses, financial difficulties etc. What separates happy people from unhappy people is learning how to really accept that you won't always get what you want but that life is about change, both for the good and bad, and you need to learn how to navigate that and constantly seek joy and things that will improve your life rather than dwelling on the bad things that can and do happen.


Sit down and make a list of 100 things you always wanted to do/be/have. Then start working towards them. And if one goal gets frustrated, shift to something else on the list. Your attitude will improve immensely if you start seeing yourself as the power behind getting what you want from life rather than a victim mentality. You fuel your own life! So use that fuel to go in a positive direction rather than a negative one.


There are many people who are extremely old (90s/100s) who still love their lives and have goals and achievements and joy. And there are many people who sit in a chair and ruminate how life done them wrong and become sour and miserable. So decide that your life begins at 40, and you are going to change your outlook on life and start seeking joy and fun rather than counting and measuring and nurturing thoughts about things that you DON'T have or things you DON'T like or what you think you SHOULD have. All of that doesn't matter. What matters is you are taking control of your life and continuing pointing yourself in the direction of things that give yourself joy and pleasure and fulfillment, and whenever a frustration or roadblock arises, you don't plop yourself down and go into an extended 'woe is me' monologue, you keep going and if necessary shift yourself into something else on your list that does make you happy.


Happiness doesn't land on your head like a big bird. Happiness is IN your head and something you achieve by pursuing things and people and activities that bring you pleasure and joy. So it is in your hands to find it, but you have to put effort into it and not passively wait for the universe to hand it to you.


So start making your 'happy' list today. It could be small things like 'change my hairstyle' or 'lose 20 lbs' or 'go to the zoo and feed the elephants' or 'take a cooking class' or large things like 'buy my own house' or 'travel to Australia' or 'move to location X' or 'find a better job'. Then break that list down into smaller sub-goals for the big items like 'buy a house', which might be broken down into 'save money for a down payment' and 'talk to a realtor to figure out what I need to do to qualify for a mortgage' or 'drive around to different neighborhoods to find one I like for when it's time to buy a house'. Then start doing them one by one. Start with the easy ones first and work your way up to the hard ones. And when you get less than 100 on the list, sit down and add more new ones to get to 100. And if 100 overwhelms you, start with 20 or 50. Keep your 'joy' list going, and keep working towards doing as many things on your list as you can.


Pretty soon you'll be excited to check things off your list and add new things to it, and your thoughts will shift from passive vicitimization to active positivity and a sense of control over your life and future course. You can't control everything that happens, but you can steer your life on a true course to getting what will make you happy, or just let yourself drift along and cry while you're drifting.

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