This article in the NYT about what the author has learned in her forties inspired me to make my own list.
Some things I’ve learned in my 40’s:
1. People are paying less attention to us than we think they are. Feel free to leave the house with black shoes and navy socks. No one will notice.
2. It’s okay to openly acknowledge that there are some books we will never want to read no matter how important they are in the literary canon. I officially announce that I no longer care that I will never want to read Faulkner or Joyce.
3. It’s okay to accept that you will never be a person who…. runs a marathon, gives up sugar/gluten/meat, holds political office, dresses like a fashion icon, marries George Clooney…we all do lots of things and it’s okay that it’s none of those.
4. In your 40’s you realize that your time is limited. So get to work…there is a lot of art to make!
5. Accept the idea of a new normal. For me this is the decade of “but my body never used to do that/look like that/feel like that.” Well, it does now. So instead of berating yourself, let’s acknowledge that there is a new normal. And while we’re at it, let’s take care of ourselves with more purpose and compassion.
6. Our natural awesomeness gets more awesome as we age. Happily this coincides with being more confident and less scared to be seen for who we really are. So let’s all make a loud noise in the world! Other people need and want to hear what we have to say.
I think the 40’s are my favorite decade so far. What do you think? Loving your decade or ready to move on? It’s a fun topic for reflection.