After realizing we didn’t know our local area anywhere near as well as we know our favorite holiday spot, we decided to do a bus tour of our home city. It was while riding this that we overheard a woman fretting about turning 40. To sum up her conversation, she was worried about this milestone for the simple fact she believed she would be more “complete” by now as if she hadn’t quite achieved that successful image she had painted in her mind.
It got us thinking about how much expectation we throw onto our shoulders and whether we would have done things differently. Not an easy answer. However, while thinking about that, we veered off a tangent and started thinking about the different lessons we have learned along the way, lessons that could help other people slip into their forties with a little swag in the walk and a huge smile on their face.
So, without further ado, here are the best life lessons we have picked up on our journey through life. Wow.
- Age Is Just A Number. That’s A Fact
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “growing old is inevitable, but growing up is optional.” Well, that statement is absolutely spot on. You are only as old as you feel, so don’t let age convince you that you’re old and decrepit and unable to enjoy life anymore. When you turn thirty, you start telling yourself that you are an old lady and then, when you hit forty, you start wishing you had appreciated your youth that much more. Don’t let the placebo take over. In fact, do the opposite and take the fight to your age.
- Get To Know Who You Are And Love That Person
The only way you can really love who you are, in a total sense, if if you get to know who you are and start to enjoy the changes we all go through. Get that right and all that self-esteem, happiness and confidence stuff will follow suit. That’s not all, though. You see, the more you accept who you are, the more you can accept others too, and that brings about relationships so tight you’ll feel the air squeezed out of you.
- Enjoy Those All Of A Sudden Wrinkles
We’re not sure anyone really gets used to the fact their face is slowly turning into a spirograph, but the more you accept this the more you’ll embrace them. We heard an elderly lady once call them laughter lines, which is exactly what they are. They are your laugh lines and what they signify is a life enjoyed, where laughter ruled the roost, not a frown. Embrace these and help your friends embrace them too. Laugh about them. It will warm your soul if nothing else. Of course, it is also totally fine for you to start fighting these wrinkles as early as you like.
- Never Give Up On Getting Fit. Never.
There are so many benefits to working out, whether it is a run along a beach, a cycle around the park, or yoga classes with your best friend. There is the chance to lose that middle-aged weight you’re fretting about (or at least hold off any more weight joining the party). There is the benefit it has in boosting your quality of life and preventing any of those women’s health issues creeping into your existence. And then there are those other little benefits that include stress management, boosting your metabolism, releasing endorphins to feel good and the sense of achievement that can really lift your day. Yeah, trying to get fit is definitely worthwhile when you’re approaching your 40s.
- Embrace The Part Of You That Wants A Vagabond Life.
There is no such thing as traveling too much. In fact, not traveling enough tends to be people’s biggest regret when they finally get comfortable in their old age, which is why you should make a conscious effort to buy memories and not material things. After all, do you want stuff to show or stories to tell? A great rule to follow is the one new place every year rule, which will see you start to tick off those bucket list destinations for real and not just accept them as a pipe dream that takes up space on the cork board on your kitchen wall.
- No More Of That Comparison Nonsense.
We do feel bad for kids these days. What with all that pressure of not feeling good enough and having to constantly compare themselves to others. But it isn’t just kids who have become subject to the plague that is Facebook. We know that you can’t completely stop comparing yourself to others. But comparing your life to your best friends and knowing the context is a lot better than comparing your behind the scenes footage to the highlight reel of someone you knew twenty-five years ago. You need to accept that there will always be someone with more money, a better career, more holidays or better legs; that’s just life. But those people are also comparing themselves to others. So stop. Delete the Facebook app from your phone and toss Instagram to the wayside. Your life will be so much more fulfilling without them.
- Remember That Kids Grow So Fast.
By the time you’ve fully adjusted to the fact you have kids, that phase will be over with and you’ll be sat wondering where the time went and how you got to this stage already. It is overwhelming, but with all that attention and care, the time just slips by. So make a mental note – or a physical reminder – to enjoy every second with them. It may seem long in your head, but the entire time they live with you at home is rather short in the grand scheme of life. Remember that and embrace what you have when you have it.
- Don’t Care So Much. In Fact, Don’t Care At All.
Everyone that is pushing the forty-barrier will be nodding their head at this next statement: we wish we stopped caring what others thought of us sooner. Look, self-doubt happens, that is a fact, but just because it happens doesn’t mean it has to win. Instead, stop caring so much about what other people think of you and start doing more of what you want to do… in all aspects of your life… period. What others think of you really is none of your business. Once you realize that, well, you can live your life with the right motivations.