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Turning 40!


itsallgrand
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I expected to feel a little twinge here, like I did when I turned 30. I haven't really, I feel grateful and happy. Life is good and I intend to celebrate this up!

 

I know there are plenty of others here close to this age and past it, I'd love to know how you are feeling about the Big 4-0 or how your 40s surprised you!

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40 is in my rear view mirror, but I have to say 40's were the best years.

 

I learned to stop caring what others think so much. I learned I had a voice and how to use it, respectfully and responsibly. I think that comes with not caring so much about another persons judgment, you can speak your mind more freely.

 

Mostly it was about accepting myself, with all my faults and quirks. Because after all, that's what makes me human.

 

It was liberating after years of being a people pleaser and trying to be perfect. (whatever that is?!)

 

Happy Birthday! :D

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Pretty much what Reinvent said. Except for the part about it being the best years. I'm turning 42 on Monday and it hasn't been the best as far as career goes. Working on that right now though. So I'm feeling optimistic about the next chapter of my life. Happy birthday It's!

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I expected to feel a little twinge here, like I did when I turned 30. I haven't really, I feel grateful and happy. Life is good and I intend to celebrate this up!

 

I know there are plenty of others here close to this age and past it, I'd love to know how you are feeling about the Big 4-0 or how your 40s surprised you!

 

Happy Birthday :)))))))))))

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HBD!

 

I turn 40 in October and my feelings about the whole thing are almost nonexistent. The lead-up to 30 felt much more consequential, which makes sense, because one's 20s generally feel so loaded with consequence—all that pressure to do x, y, and z, to have it "figured out" before the buzzer of 30 goes off, as if someone is going to come along and give you some kind of grade for being a grownup that will stick with you forever.

 

Of course, the great revelation of 30 is what happens after that buzzer dings: nothing, really, save more time, more living, more x's, y's, and z's to put in the crosshairs, with the bonus of more wisdom, experience, and self-acceptance.

 

I guess if I had to pin down something to define this moment it's that I've become genuinely comfortable with the idea that "figuring it out" is a myth—not just that, but a pretty lousy goal, a recipe for disenchantment and disillusionment.

 

I mean, what on earth would I do if I had it all "figured out?" I'll save the grading for after death. In the meantime, I like the idea that there are just more questions to ask, more weights to lift, more paths to explore—some scarier than others, darker than others, but I'm pretty confident in my ability to navigate and embrace the unknown with some grace.

 

My life looks nothing like I once thought it would by 40, which I love. It is still very much in flux, taking shape. It's a reminder that life is just insane, surprising, a wild adventure that only ends when, well, it ends. Things I used to fear—uncertainly, namely—I've learned to embrace, get intimate with. Success, failure, money, poverty, love, heartache—these things just keep coming, in different forms, over and over and over, and I've realized that they're not really opposites, that neither is better than the other. Just flip-sides of the same always-flipping coin, if that makes any sense.

 

I'm more aware than ever, on some cellular level, that my time is limited and precious—that my life basically amounts to how I choose to spend my time. That's allowed me to be faster to let go of things that don't serve me, be it a person or a place or a job, and move toward those that do without apology. My muscles and bones may be a little older—though I take good care of them!—but my spirit is without question nimbler, less stuck in the past or future and more rooted in the present.

 

There is still so much I want and haven't done—and, yeah, some of those things I once figure I'd have done by now. Oh well. I'd be bored to tears if I didn't have more things to do, dreams to chase, mistakes to make, and lessons to learn. Bring it, 40s!

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Blue, what you said about giving up on the idea of ' figuring it all out' really resonated with me.

In my 20s, as some posters here know, I struggled a lot with my mental health. It wasn't until my 30s that I found more stability there, and the resources to keep that going.

I used to agonize worrying about ever making it to an idea I had of success.

My view changed as I got more comfortable in the state of just living my life, an imperfect person among other imperfect people, there is no magical bench post other than what we decide of ' I made it!'. Ironically, taking the weight off those goals makes it a hell of a lot easier to not only try for them, reach them, but bounce back when life takes you on another course. It's a lot more fun too!

 

In a way, this now feels like gravy for me. It's life, to enjoy, explore, there's a peace and freedom in it. No one cares that much, I'm small potatoes , we all are, but that's not a sad thought nor does it take away from how special each life is. It's just some humility from my earlier years, and it's surprisingly awesome.

 

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes everyone!! It feels nice to say ' yeah, it's my birthday, here I am'. Wouldn't have done that when I was younger lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy Birthday itsallgrand!

 

I appreciate what you and bluecastle have said about the nature of your perspective changing. I suppose there is a simple way to explain it: wisdom. In my younger years I was always hoping and waiting for life to get "settled" and fixed. But that hasn't ever seemed to happen. Maybe it never will. Maybe it never should. I also have lately worried about disappointing my parents, not having turned out to be the woman they had hoped for. I know a lot of people explain that when they reach their 40s, they find a peace of mind in not caring as much about what other people think. While I would like to gain that inner peace, it also frightens me a little. I think in a way I cling to that, as a way of refusing to let go of youth. I'm afraid of being pittied, laugh-at, scoffed at. Maybe I can set some internal goals to achieve by my 40th birthday - not those that I can show to others but ones that I can feel in myself, like confidence and fearlessness, and inner peace.

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I know I'm a little late on this but i wanted to wish a big Happy B-day to one of my favorite people in this community. I'm so glad you're still around every time I come back from a break and I truly wish we had more people like you.

 

Always sesnsible, always kind, but always willing to speak your mind and tell it how it is.

 

May your happiness live on until the day you're ready to see what lies on the other side.

 

Cheers,

LW

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