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!
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. 🙂