No matter what, we all have something to be thankful for. Whether it’s big or small, finding those thankful things can really put your life in perspective. I’m a very thankful person, and my life is what I call “an easy life.” Meaning, I’m healthy. Happily married. I work, because I choose to, with an amazing group of women. My kids do well in school and behave well…even when I’m not looking. My husband has a solid job that allows us to not just have a roof over out head, but give us opportunities to travel and get our kids involved in various activities. My list of things to be thankful for is long.
After debating about what to write about, I decided to share something I don’t often talk about…unless it’s for a laugh. It’s something we all, especially women, dread talking about.
What is it?!
You got it!
I’m a few years into the ONE decade we all seem to start dreading when we are young. I’m not sure how this decade got to be the “black sheep” of decades, but somewhere along the way, someone started it… and it stuck!
When I hit the big 4-0 a few years ago, I had a “light bulb” moment. You know. Those moments in life where things just seem to come together or suddenly make sense. Here is what my moment said… “You have earned this age! Be proud! Be confident! Be present in your life!”
I swear it was like God himself was telling me to just STOP!!
Stop worrying about your weight.
Stop worrying about what people think.
Stop trying to make everyone happy.
Stop putting yourself last.
Stop thinking you are on the downhill side of life.
At that moment, I started reflecting on the adult decades of my life.
During my 20s decade, I was finishing nursing school, going through a divorce while raising a baby, getting re-married, having 2 more kids, finding a new career as a stay-at-home-mom, building a house, supporting my husband in his medical practice, and a few more things I’ve purged from my mind. I just didn’t STOP.
As I look back on that decade, I’m tired! Exhausted even! I also realized that will all these “new” things, insecurity was prevalent. I’m sure my insecurity wasn’t obvious to anyone else, but I let the approval of others dictate my happiness. I did what I thought I should do to make others happy. I hosted parties and get togethers all the time even though it stressed me out. I volunteered countless hours because I thought I needed to help fellow moms who were “working.” I just did and did… for others. In retrospect, I should have done those things, just not to the level I did them.
In my 30s, I had my last child and was raising all four kids by living from one moment to the next. I have to admit that turning 30 was very hard on me! I dreaded this decade because I thought, “I’m not cute and 20. I’m not wise and 40. I’m in this murky, grey part of life and I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing.” I started this decade just as insecure as I was in my early 20’s. Somewhere through my 30’s, I became much more confident but still needed the approval of others to validate my self-worth. And when I did’t get it, I nit-picked myself until I found it was my fault they didn’t “like me.” After trying to find myself in various activities and part-time jobs, I realized what I needed to do to be secure…
I didn’t just realize I didn’t need the approval of others. I felt I didn’t need their approval.
I felt I didn’t need a to do it all.
I felt I didn’t need to have everyone like me.
I found that turning 40 gave me all the confidence I’d lacked at younger ages. I found the “feeling” I needed to be at peace. It may seem odd to be reading these words, but I can’t describe this moment any other way. I FELT that moment. I FELT 40. And if FELT FABULOUS!!
Some may find this peace much earlier than I did. Some may find it later. But I am so THANKFUL to have found this peace -this “40 is Fabulous” state-of-mind. This view that my life is just getting started. Having this feeling, makes me realize the simple things really are what matters. This “dreaded decade” has been the best surprise of my life.
As we begin this season of thankfulness, I’m also hoping that all the moms who read this can either relate to or look forward to when you find this “Fabulous, Freeing, 40 State of mind!”