Why I Love Turning 40

I am sad when people say they dread getting older. I am just the opposite…I wouldn’t turn back the clock if I had the choice. I am happier now than ever and here are some of the reasons why. This is in no particular order and I am sure I missed something, but here it goes – pure random thoughts.

I’m old enough to know the rules and consequences of breaking them…and experienced enough to know when and how to break the silly ones when needed.

I’m still young enough to do…well – anything I want.

I’m free to act like a complete goofball when I want to. Because I am old enough now that I don’t care what anyone really thinks about that kind of stuff. If they want to be a stick in the mud – that is their own right…not my problem.

I finally found out who I am…and I like myself.

I stopped trying to please everyone…when I finally realized that is impossible anyway.

I have learned how to forgive myself and stop expecting perfection…and how to laugh at myself.

I try not to have any expectations from anyone else…this way I stay surprised when people do good things, but am not disappointed when they make mistakes.

I believe in God. It makes me happy. But I will not force my views on anyone else or assume anyone has to believe like me. If you’re interested in my little inner spark – just ask and I will tell you more. No one is going to persuade people to believe in something so personal by hitting them on the head, knocking on a door or throwing a list of rules at them. It is about a relationship. It’s a choice. That takes time and trust.

I don’t judge people anymore. Yes…I used to when I was younger, opinionated and ignorant. Now I know that if you judge, you will be judged. I also realized I am not right about everything. I enjoy listening to different points of view and instead of opposing them…many times I am pleasantly enlightened.

I don’t like to argue. I won’t anymore…it doesn’t go anywhere positive. But I have learned how to address things instead of let them stew, fester and become an eruption. It takes wisdom to find root causes to issues and it takes guts to actually address it. Then…it takes love to address it all with respect.

Though I still have moments where I’d like to, the reality is that I’m not supposed to have the figure of a 16 year old. I just need to stay healthy and active enough so I can keep up (or stay ahead of) my kids.

I learned people are busy, distracted and accidentally self centered. It’s not personal. If you really want to talk to someone in particular…call or visit them. You’ll both be thankful.

I work smarter at work (not longer), play harder at play and laugh…loud and as much as possible.

I know that the hard times don’t last, so keep going…it won’t last forever.

I know that the really great times don’t last…so soak up the moment…it won’t last forever.

Work is not my identity. It’s a place to learn, grow, give of my skills and leave it behind when I leave the office.

Motherhood is not my identity. It’s an incredible blessing and title that I take seriously, hang on to each moment and am in no hurry to rush. I have learned more about life and love by being a mom and I am so thankful for each snuggle, little kiss, giggle – and even the fits (they are healthy and alive).

Happiness is not guaranteed, but joy is only a matter of perspective. I choose joy.

I have learned to honestly forgive others – it doesn’t “condone” any wrong doing, but it frees you from the prison of resentment and bitterness.

I have made peace with the past by accepting I can’t change it, but instead use each mistake as lessons forward so they are not in vain.

I still have big dreams to publish music and books, and even open an innovative candy business one day. Rather than be annoyed that I can’t do it all right now, I realize there is only so much time in a day. I have to make peace with focusing on the priorities of the moment and keep the dreams alive long enough to be able to act on them one day.

I try very hard to love with reckless abandon despite being hurt beyond belief. I realized that if I gave up on love, I would be giving up on life. My girls deserve much better than that.

I am learning about true unconditional love from my children. They are the teachers here…

I’m old enough to really know my weaknesses and annoying habits and try to at least warn people, and temper them down much as possible.

Don’t get caught up in the annoying small things that can eat at you…breathe…shake it off…go play.

If I am annoyed with someone to the point that I want to change them…it is usually me that needs to change.

Don’t worry about things that haven’t even happened yet.

I don’t have as much time to spend with my girl friends as I wish I had. So I try to make the moments I do have with them really count. Even if it’s just a phone call. But I have also found – good friends understand, and you can pick up right where you left off. We’re all busy.

Don’t miss the small moments in life – the smiles, laughs, holding hands, unsolicited I love yous, because these are really the big things.

I had to love myself and my life before I could find someone that really loved me and my life. It took me a long time…I will try very hard to not take it for granted.

I am an open book. I have many lessons to pass on to whoever will listen. I try to be honest, and vulnerable – even when it makes me look stupid. If it helps someone else or prevents them from making some of the mistakes I have made…it is all worth it.

Look directly into the eyes of the people you love the most…often.

Acceptance + Surrender = Joy and Peace

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