Contemplating Forty

by Amy on July 12, 2010

I recently turned 40 on the 27th of May, and it’s caused me to pause over my life and think about what it means to be this age and what I’ve learned in forty years. Here’s a list of forty things I’ve thought about regarding being 40 years old:

 

  1. I didn’t feel a thing when it happened.
  2. Turning 40 is the perfect excuse to get that one big thing you’ve been wanting, saving up for, or dreaming about. For me it was a Jeep and a nice yard.
  3. Celebrating 40 is like getting to have the ultimate kid’s birthday party with lots of guests, only with alcohol.
  4. By 40, I’ve finally realized it’s more rewarding and easier to please myself than trying to please other people.
  5. Turning 40 means you get to have the biggest birthday cake ever.
  6. I like taking naps and I don’t put up a fight to take one.
  7. Turning 40 isn’t hard to do.
  8. I know better now, how to use my head more. It’s come in handy many times.
  9. Learning at this age is cheaper, less stressful, and more enjoyable. I can learn whatever I want to and I get more out of what I learn.
  10. If given duct tape, WD-40, or baling wire, I can fix most anything in a pinch.
  11. Forty candles when lit, are quite pretty and give off a soft glow.
  12. Getting carded at this age (and my husband doesn’t) is a pleasurable experience.
  13. Time means a lot more when you’re older. I value it a lot more and make an effort not to waste it as much as I used to.
  14. I perfected the art of bluffing and can do it a lot better than I used to. Sometimes it can be useful to spare a spar.
  15. I’m pretty tough even at forty (physically, mentally, and spiritually).
  16. I care less about what other people think of me the way I did when I was younger, and I value more what I think.
  17. The gifts I got at 40 are ones I won’t outgrow or get tired of (landscaped yard from my parents, siblings and their families, and a Jeep from my husband).
  18. Turning 40 is getting attention that you wouldn’t normally get.
  19. I know better now than I used to about many things.
  20. As a parent, I am more mindful of what I’m doing all the time—everything I do is creating a memory in my kids’ head. Thinking this way about what I’m doing, changes how I do everything.
  21. Making mistakes isn’t as bad as I used to think they were when I was younger. I’ve learned more and retained better what I’ve learned when I messed up. Sometimes the toughest lessons are best lessons.
  22. Forty is only old if you’re a car or animal.
  23. Grades don’t tell how smart a person is, how much they understand, or or what their learning capabilities are.
  24. The older I’ve become the more I’ve realized that teachers don’t always know how to teach and some aren’t the experts in their fields.
  25. I’ve reached an age where I’ve not only learned a lot about my spouse but I’ve also learned a lot from my spouse. Spouses can teach each other many new things if a person willing to learn.
  26. It’s my turn to get the traveling “40th” celebratory wine glass from my girlfriends.
  27. You can tell yourself you look and feel whatever age you want to be. I chose 25-30.
  28. Accomplishments made by the age of 40 mean a lot more.
  29. Using one’s mind instead of his or her physical strength may be appropriate in some instances, but using one’s body regularly keeps a person active, limber and in good physical condition longer.
  30. It’s good to have friends twenty years younger and twenty years older than you.
  31. Forty isn’t much if it’s in dollar bills.
  32. I may be 40, but I’m not too old to jump on a trampoline. It’s still a lot of fun.
  33. I have to get the gate even if it’s my 40th birthday.
  34. Hard physical labor and digging in the dirt is good therapy that doesn’t cost anything.
  35. I’ve learned to take the time to stop and acknowledge an achievement before moving on to the next goal. I try to savor the moment and recognize what it took to achieve a goal. The celebratory moment will pass quickly enough and waiting to celebrate later doesn’t feel the same once the moment’s passed.
  36. You get special treatment when you turn 40.
  37. I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. After ditching all the critics once and for all that kept me from doing what I love and really wanted to do, I’ve realized writing is what I want to do the most.
  38. I know what my gifts and talents are and what I’m good at. I believe in myself and my abilities. I’m using my talents and share them with others, like God wants me to do.
  39. Forty rhymes with sporty.
  40. For my 40th, I created different lists of 40 things. It didn’t take me long to list 40 things I love about my life, 40 friends, and 40 things I’m thankful for. You should try it for the age you are or when you have a birthday. It’s a great way to celebrate your age.

The most important thing we can do today is appreciate the age we are, where we are in life, and count the blessings we’ve been given. Everything changes as we get older so it’s a good idea to focus on the here and now.

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