I spent my 20s and 30s being very serious about a lot of things. I took things personally. I struggled with anxiety, adrenal fatigue, melancholy, overwhelm… I often times felt not good enough or at other times strove too hard. I think many people look at 40 and deny it. But I decided to look at 40 and embrace it. On my 40th birthday, I shared with my best friend that I felt freedom for the first time in maybe forever. As I continued to reflect on how I had been living life, handling stress, doing the basics of parenting, marriage, friendship, and other family relationships, I felt like I could improve, but that I could also loosen up (in some areas). I was ready to begin a new chapter in my life and that is what I have been working on.

1- Life’s not that serious. Nobody gets out alive anyway. (Not an original thought by me, heard it somewhere and loved it).

2-The only one who really suffers from anger and holding a grudge is the person holding it. Letting go is a process-but it can be achieved and there is freedom in that.

3- Over committing is a set up for failure. When I overcommit, I stand the chance at failing or only doing things halfway. It is better to give my all to what is most important.

4- I am not responsible for anyone’s actions but my own. Not my husbands, not my children’s, not my friends.

5- Moderation in anything and everything is important.

6- Set goals! I may fail. But I’d rather fail then never try at all.

7- Hindsight is 2020. I never appreciated my teenage body and always thought I was fat. Now I want that body!

8- I used to want to go back to those carefree days between the ages of 16-21. No more! I had my care free fun. 40 is free. Free from all the pressure that growing up brings. Sure 40 comes with it’s own set of challenges, but I’m ready for them.

9- Finish what I started. The feeling of finishing a project is amazing. I want more of that!

10- After years and years of wondering what is wrong with me-I now fully accept, acknowledge, and take ownership over my introverted-ness. It has its quirks, but it is who I am. How God made me. We weren’t all meant to stand in the spotlight. I would much rather be behind the scenes any day!

11- Self-care is a priority! Feed your body well, move it often, and rest it when it is tired.

12- It’s never too late to follow your dreams.

13- It’s never too late to start a new habit or break an old one.

14- Music can make you feel good, can make you cry, you can sing with it, dance to it, rage to it. Whatever the situation, there’s a song for it!

15- Sometimes life calls for silence (in this case ignore #14), requiring you to be still and quiet your mind. It is a hard thing to do…

16- It is what it is!

17- You can’t fix stupid! But you can always pray.

18- No matter how hard I try- I cannot fix, change, cure, or heal anyone of anything.

19- Sometimes talk is cheap and a good friend needs to listen more than offer platitudes or advice.

20- Always ask before offering advice.

21- Sing, dance, be silly, laugh.

22- Not everyone is going to like you, nor are you going to like everyone.

23- Prayer is powerful.

24- We may have money for but a moment, but a relationship with Jesus will last an eternity.

25- Other people’s impressions of you don’t define you-not strangers, friends, parents, teachers, peers, siblings, extended family, etc…

26- The world will always compete for your attention. It will tell you that you need bigger or better, that you deserve more, that you need to diet, that you are not good enough. Don’t buy into the lies. You are enough.

27- I couldn’t wait to get out of high school, away from the popularity contests, the cliques, the gossip, the drama… It doesn’t end in high school.

28- I am blessed with a loving husband, 3 beautiful and healthy children, and a supportive extended family.

29- I am blessed with many special friendships, some near, some far, some I talk to often, others-not so much-but I am blessed none the less to have friends who I can say anything to and ask anything of. They are the family I picked, and the ones God chose for me.

30- I am blessed with a small house. Not too much to clean or furnish, but enough to feel full or overflowing.

31- I am blessed that we have two relatively new vehicles that get us from point A to point B. Especially blessed with heated seats.

32- I am blessed to have good health. Though I can’t see without my contacts, and years of blasting music has me saying “what?” more than I’d prefer, they come with age.

33- I am blessed to have faith.

34- I hope to continue taking good care of my body so I can stay active, healthy, and young-ish for years to come.

35- I hope to continue growing in my faith and persevering through my struggles.

36- I hope my 40’s is filled with adventure, fun, peace, joy, and love.

37- I hope to pursue my goals with a fiery tenacity.

38- I hope to live every moment to it’s fullest.

39- I hope to try new things and to never stop learning.

40- I hope to embrace where I’m at while embracing those God has lovingly placed in my life.