This March I turn the big 4-0! Holy Moly! How the hecht did this month arrive so quickly? I still remember my mom’s 40th birthday. My dad threw her a surprise dinner party for her with her closet friends. She was so happy. I still remember what she wore and her hair and makeup – she looked beautiful. At 40, my mom had five kids – I was the oldest at 13 and my youngest sister Caroline was 2 1/2 . My mom was in law school at night and raised us during the day. I still have no idea how she did it. Even with support from my dad, her parents, my dad’s parents and even us kids – it was a lot.
When I talk to her now as an adult, as a woman, as a friend and as a mom who also has a full plate, I am even more inspired. While this was a crazy time in her life, she was kindling the fire in her. She was investing in herself!
The thing is – the big step my mom made was not actually going back to law school. It was actually the decisions she made in her late 20s right after my sister Dianna and I were born. And while she loved being a mom, there was a tiny voice inside of her that was building saying there was another part of her that also wanted to grow. My mom listened to that voice. That was the big step. She didn’t know where it was going to lead her but even with a full plate as a mom of two kids, she started taking community classes and taking an active part in our pre-school and school committees. These classes and volunteer engagements eventually led her to volunteer in the courts and this eventually led her to apply to law school.
Often our late 30s and early to mid-40s are a time of life transition and self-reflection. Sometimes even after a life very well lived, a person may see that have played it too safe, or perhaps have not live a path aligned with their personal own values but rather someone else’s. Maybe they have not been investing in themselves but rather building and collecting things around them. Maybe they have been investing in everyone else but themselves. This can cause stress, dissatisfaction, anxiety, challenges in relationships, disengagement with life and a lack of motivation to explore new things.
One of the most powerful aspects of getting older and turning 40 is all the life experiences that have come along the way. As we get older we often have communities that support us or that we can at least reach out to and strengthen. We have learned how to be better people. All of this life can help us navigate forward and live our best life. The inner power, the independence comes when we can channeling all of this life experience with the positive energy that comes with growth, change and personal development. The path ahead becomes even brighter when we commit to building on top of this for our future with more investment in ourselves. The world is at our fingertips at all ages. It is for us to go after and make our own impact.
This decade ahead I am going to take big bold steps. I am going to leverage how I have invested in myself over the years. I am going to invest more. I am going to be me – fully me. I am going to try and not hold back. I am going to make an even more positive impact on the world and most importantly on my family. I am going to make lives better. Bring it on 40!
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