Something Happened on the Way to 40

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I’m big on birthday’s. I always have been. Some dread turning another year older but I celebrate getting old(er). I celebrate the fact that I have lived another amazing year and that I have the gift of another year ahead of me that I can fill with adventures, loved ones, music, joy, happiness and all those beautiful gifts that comes for free. You have to remember in life not to dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be. It’s best to dive in fully and completely…. Living wild and free is its own reward. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life!

To be honest, this year started off a little differently. January 2014 rolled around and suddenly panic set in because for some stupid reason I was taking to heart the panicked looks on people’s faces when they told me I’m 40 this year and I was listening to the words of how life as I knew it was almost over. What was I thinking?

I love growing older.

I’m more me than I have ever been in my entire life and I love who I have become and who I am still growing into being.

So for all the nay sayers that say my life is over, to honour my turning 40 later tonight (8:40pm exactly and still very much 39 until then cause you can’t waste a bit of life!!) I’ve made a list (cause I’m a list-making-lover) of 40 things I’ve learned over this incredible journey of 40 years.

  1. My nieces think I am ancient when I tell them my age, this just makes me laugh. They are 4 and 6. I laugh even harder when they try to decide how old there granny is. The 6-year-old with her eyes practically popping out of her head usually answers with “Whhaaaat?” and then laughs hysterically. I’m grateful for the laughter lines these times will give me.
  2. Live in the moment and play with child-like wonder. Always.
  3. Stop making life so complicated. It’s only complicated because you are making it complicated.
  4. I’ve learned to dance and to be free and to move my spirit every single day. Everyone should have a rule to dance before leaving their house. It lights up your spirit, puts a smile on your face and makes you feel alive.
  5. The best lesson yet, I’ve learned that “No” is a complete sentence and the earth still maintains her orbit when I say it.
  6. Spend time often with children. They teach you to see the world through their eyes. My two baby girl nieces do this for me. And their laughter is contagious, but then again they probably get that from me! I laugh. They laugh. We all laugh. It is a beautiful thing.
  7. I’m fitter than I have probably ever been in my life mostly due to the fact that I have a love of climbing high altitude mountains. How many 40-year-old females can say that!
  8. I know how to truly love someone for who they are. Fully. With passion. And with all of me.
  9. If you experience an embarrassing life moment or failure, you need to own it – Openly, loudly, and with lots of laughter. There is nothing more captivating than someone who wears their imperfection proudly.
  10. Never forget for even just a moment how blessed your life is. There is always someone who is worse off than you. Celebrate and be grateful for what you have. Trust me, it’s a lot!
  11. As you get older your inner circle of friends gets smaller but so much stronger. I have the most amazing, incredible, dear and loving friends. One’s who are genuine, real, honest, and full of love for life. It may have taken me near to 40 years to weed out the manipulators, the drama queens and the fibbers but the friends I have now are the real deal. They are always there to cheer me on when I succeed and they stick around when the going gets tough and they know I’ll do the same for them. Surround yourself with good people.
  12. I once read this somewhere “There are no wrinkles on a balloon.” What a great life lesson – When someone offers you ice-cream, the answer is always YES!!
  13. I’ve learned to meditate every morning, really early while the world is still sleeping. It’s good for my soul. That hour when everyone still sleeps is always really worth waking up for. Then I dance wildly around the house as I get ready for work. I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day. Do this daily!
  14. If you have an inkling to do something nice for someone, you should definitely do it. Don’t over analyse, just do it.
  15. In my 30’s alone, I faced the fear of death staring me in the face twice. I was 32 and 35. If I didn’t get life was short the first time, I certainly got it the second time. Don’t waste another moment putting anything off.
  16. I am resilient. I have been through some really rough times but I’ve always come out the other side. I know what constitutes a true crisis and I have experienced real trauma. I got the t-shirt, numerous times. I also know how to handle all kinds of gnarly situations and I’ve been there for others when they have gone through tough times. Yes, I’ve got this!
  17. Value your parents and having them in your life. I am blessed to still have both my parents but have witnessed over the last few years many of my friends losing a parent. Spend time with the parentals. Listen to their stories about life. Be present for we won’t all always be around. Love you mom and dad!
  18. I’m taking confidence from fashion queen Coco Chanel. She once said: “You can be gorgeous at 20, charming at 40 and irresistible for the rest of your life.” I choose all of that!
  19. Life is entirely too short to not live your dreams and to be miserable. No matter how impossible your dreams seem or how far away they look, fight for them every day. Believe in them. And strive to realise them. I am living proof, the craziest of the craziest dreams do come true.
  20. Take photographs every single day. Snap things that look beautiful in your eye, the faces you love, and moments that take your breath away. Snap all the moments you want to remember for one day you will glimpse back and smile at all the memories you created. I learned this from my mom and I got my first camera as a young teenager and haven’t stopped taking pics since then.
  21. It is cliché but learn a few good rules so that you can break them. That’s where the fun in life really lies. And it keeps you young!
  22. Keep learning. Always be on the lookout for new learning opportunities. I spent most of my 30’s studying two degrees, the 2nd which is coming to an end now. I crave the new knowledge and its kept my mind active and young. Don’t be afraid to learn something new, whatever it is.
  23. Step out of the past. You live in the present. And I think you will like it here. Try it sometime.
  24. Stop suffering. Most suffering is self-inflicted and it makes you miserable. You have a choice in everything you think or feel. It comes back to living in the present. This is where the good stuff happens.
  25. A lesson I learned just the other day. Blind spots are called that for a reason: YOU really can’t see them. Ooops!!
  26. Every now and again, switch off or leave that smartphone behind. My friends sometimes get frustrated when they can’t get hold of me. But life goes on and I’ll eventually call back. When I don’t answer my phone, I’m out living life ~ remember that next time!
  27. Happiness is a choice.
  28. I thought I knew what I wanted when I was younger. It turns out it took me getting older to figure it out. If you don’t know what you want yet, don’t beat yourself up about it ~ It will happen.
  29. Telling someone I love them has become easy. Life is short and far too often I’ve lost ones that are so dear to me. Don’t waste a moment, tell those you love that you love them. And definitely, hug more. And kiss more too.
  30. One of the best things I’ve learned is that what you focus on expands. It’s a universal law and it’s a simple practice really but so many get it so wrong. Focus on the good stuff and watch it expand. YOU get to make your life beautiful, no one else does.
  31. Love deeply and enthusiastically. There is just no other way.
  32. Treat your body well. You will need it to take you on your adventures.
  33. No matter who you are, remember you got this. You are awesome. You are unique. And you are perfect just as you are. Never let anyone convince you otherwise, including yourself.
  34. Stop moaning about something if you are doing nothing to fix the problem. You just add to the negative, miserableness of this world. And goodness knows we have enough of that already.
  35. Get rid of self-limiting beliefs. Drop the “I can’t do this” or “I’ll never be good enough”. Change your thinking and you will literally change your life.
  36. Always take the scenic route.
  37. Fresh flowers bring a room to life. Even if you have to buy them for yourself, it’s always worth including into your budget.
  38. Being “too busy” is a myth. You can always make time for the people and things that are important to you.
  39. Monsters exist.
  40. But so do miracles.

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A funny thing happened to me on the way to 40; I grew up but I will always have that childlike spirit in me and a naughtiness and sense of adventure that comes from my dad. I got his stubbornness too, but that’s ok I got my mom’s big heart. There seems to be so much horror about turning 40 but that’s all just rubbish. Trust me on this one too.

There is magic and promise in every sunrise.

A new day is always a new beginning.

Make sure you make the most of it.

Being 40 is going to be awesome.

Because I’m gonna make it so.

Forty is not the new 30.

Forty is the new f*cking amazing!

If the first 40 is an indication of what’s to come, I’m truly excited to see what’s next and after 39 years of not being 40, I’m going to give it a try!

I’m ready to stumble gracefully into this.

With laugh lines appearing around my eyes, I smile as I look in the mirror, not shuddering at the sight but celebrating the simple blessing that my life is filled with laughter, adventure and love even on the days when life hands out the proverbial lemons.

I’m ready.

Bring. It. On!

~ Happy 40th Birthday to Me! ~

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