Forty is awesome. I know you hear a lot of talk about it as a big scary number and I admit I’ve thought so too. Which is why I’ve been working hard for a couple of years to get my life to an exciting place for the big 4-0, just so I wouldn’t feel disappointed.
And while I still don’t know exactly how my 40th year will go, I’ve actually been stoked about 40. And so I want to give anyone else staring at this big number some encouragement and excitement —
Wisdom is like a superpower.
Sometimes I feel like the Flash, zipping forward and moving faster than other people. And this isn’t a knock against youngsters but I just feel like all the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I’ve learned just help me in situations ranging from my retail job to interacting with people to writing great fiction.
Forty can be a really healthy place.
The more you take care of yourself, the more you’ll see the possibilities of a healthy, happy older you. Whatever your limitations — exercise, good food, purpose, sleep, and helping others can all aid in your journey. Sure, there’s a few new wrinkles (!) to your health, but overall — you can be strong and happy and feeling great at this time in your life.
10,000 Hours Bitches!
For anyone with a long-term passion — a job, hobby, cause, etc. — turning forty means you have put in a lot of time and effort toward the thing you love. Maybe you’ve even hit the mythical 10,000 hours mark. A couple of years ago I realized I’d become better writer than I ever thought I’d be. And now I just feel so excited and blessed for have so much ability at my fingertips as a writer (note: it doesn’t make the actual writing easier 😉 ).
I’ve met a lot of older people living extraordinary lives.
I have healthy, energetic family members running successful businesses and then vacationing in North America’s most beautiful spots in their RV. And at 64, my own dad bested by sister and me on our multi-mile hike on the steep trails of Cloudland Canyon State Park (we were good — he was the best).
But my biggest influence comes from other writers I’ve met through my Athens Writers Association. These ladies and gents show how awesome, strong, engaged in life, and dedicated to their passions people can be in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
In the end, forty is a great way to reassess. To be grateful for all you’ve been given, and plan how to rock out your next decades.
Wherever you are in your journey, remember these simple steps to feel better today about where you are and where you’ll be tomorrow.
- Exercise and eat well. Even one day is an important step in the right direction.
- Forgive and practice a Stoic approach to life. Become a ‘master’ at life through trying new things and experimenting with feedback loops.
- Have a passion. Find something you love — worth living for, worth dying for.
- Be kind and generous. Research shows the happiness will return to you multi fold.
- Step away from the screen and out into the world. Walk in nature, hang out with friends. Enjoy this day.
I hope your next big birthday milestone (and mine) will be filled with love, joy, and excitement about the next phase in our journeys.