Freestyle Fridays: “On Turning 40” by Rebecca of Live…Write

This week’s Freestyle Friday post is written by my friend and fellow writing group member, Rebecca Pappas. She is an artist and a great writer…the first chapter of her novel we read at our first meeting is awesome! She has great talent and a gift of inspiring others. Check out her blog!

Rebecca pic

This past July I turned 40 years old. I can’t believe it. I’m 40. It always seemed so far away, but here it is. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I thought I would feel old when I hit 40, that life would sort of just stop and whatever I had accomplished in life would be it, I would be done. Surprisingly, the opposite has happened.

Let me back up a bit to the few months leading up to my birthday. During those months I was reminded (fairly regularly) that once I turned 40 my body would start to fall apart, I wouldn’t be able to lose weight, my joints would hurt, I’d be too old to have a baby, I better get some good wrinkle cream, etc. The voice in my head was screaming, ‘you haven’t accomplished anything you thought you would by now. Now what? You haven’t done this or that and you’re not this or that. You’re too old to…’ Needless to say, I was feeling pretty bad about myself and not looking forward to my birthday. Then about 2 weeks before the big day something changed.

Through my faith and altering my mind-set I started seeing things in a totally different light. Instead of looking at my past and seeing what I hadn’t done I started looking at what I had done and what I could still do. I developed a new sense of hope. I reminded myself that I have accomplished many things in my life; I owned a business, I had a piece of writing published, I developed amazing friendships, my faith has gotten stronger, I learned to love and accept myself as I am, I went on a cruise to Cozumel, I sold some of my art work, etc. I realized I am still very much alive and I have a lot more life left in me. It’s not too late. I don’t have to let age limit me. I can still write that novel and get married and have a baby (or adopt one). I can still accomplish all my dreams.

I have more joy now than any other time in my adult life. I like who I am. I know I am a better daughter, sister, and friend than I was and I know I will be a better wife and mother at this age than I would have been in my 20’s, or even in my 30’s. I have accepted I can’t make everyone happy and not everyone is going to like me (although I still hope they do). I have learned to say no and be OK with it, and I don’t compromise my morals and values even if it’s not the popular thing to do. I like joking around with people my age about how early we go to bed and how sitting at home on a Friday or Saturday night isn’t so bad. It’s fun to talk about how we played outside until the sun went down and burned our legs on the metal slides and made mud pies and went roller skating on the weekends.

I am happy.

As far as all the warnings I received from people about turning 40, yes, weight is harder to lose and I see a few wrinkles but those are things that can be worked on. I realize to be my best I need to pray, eat right, exercise, get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, enrich my relationships, help others and remember to be grateful every day of my life.

No matter what people say to you about getting older know that it’s not a bad thing. It’s empowering, it’s beautiful, it’s fun, and it’s another year you get to live. Don’t give up. Don’t stop dreaming and working toward accomplishing those dreams. I’m not where I want to be yet but I am on my way and I’m going to enjoy the life I’ve been given no matter what age I am.

Thank you Rebecca for guest posting! I love hosting various writers on my blog…it is fun to share new ideas and blogs with everyone. If you’d like to guest post, message me here, I’d love to have you. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Freestyle Fridays: “On Turning 40” by Rebecca of Live…Write

  1. I guess there is something about turning forty… I wrote a similar post on my blogs last year – same title, even! It was based on a conversation with someone who had just turned 40, and leading up to her birthday felt upset and old and bla bla bla, BUT after she turned forty, realised she had so much going for her, and it was like a second life.

    A few weeks ago, I was at a friend’s 25th (I’m 25, too), who were whining about being closer to thirty and getting ‘old’. Sheesh. Your post is a good reflection to enjoy whatever season we are currently in, instead of craving younger or older years.

    Thank you for your insightful post, Rebecca.

  2. Oh my goodness! Those thoughts are the same thoughts I’ve kinda been having… my 40th is coming up, and it’s weird. I don’t feel almost 40. It’s like a crossroads! This post has given me hope and a new way to look at life! Beautifully written, too! 😉

  3. I will be 40 in 3 1/2 years. I’m not dreading it like I thought I would. I feel like I am such a more confident person now than I ever was in my younger years. So, I hope that trend continues! 🙂

  4. I am 31 and I admittedly have been feeling anxious about the journey through my 30`s. I am worried about what I will and won’t accomplish in what feels like a very critical time. Thanks for the reflection.

    • Hi Christopher,

      I completely understand how you feel, I felt the same way. What I learned is that even though I didn’t accomplish all I wanted, I learned so much, which is going to help me as I continue to work toward attaining my goals. I also learned I probably wasn’t ready to handle some of the things I wanted when I thought I was ready. I am grateful now for the time I had to grow and become more equipped to handle things. I say do the best you can and let things happen in the time it takes and enjoy the ride. It’s never too late. I wish you the best.

      Wishing you many blessings,
      Rebecca

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