I’ve never been one to be too worried about age. I’ve always sort of felt that every age I’ve turned has been a good one. 30? No problem. 40? Piece of cake. But I will be turning 42 tomorrow and for some reason, I’m suddenly thinking a lot about what it really means to get older. I swear it was just yesterday that I was turning 21 and my biggest worry was whether or not “he” was going to call and if I was going to be able to pay my phone bill.
I’m not at all afraid of getting older but the number 42 is bringing a lot of heavy thinking my way. And here’s what I’ve been thinking: what I really, really want is just to grow older gracefully. I don’t wish I was younger. That’s the truth. When I was younger, I was nowhere near as confident or in tune with myself or anywhere near as centered as I am now. And as I look around at all my friends who are my age, all I can think is boy, we really have it going on. Every girlfriend I have seems so much better now than when we were younger.
For me, turning 40 was one thing but turning 42 makes me realize that I am officially “in my 40s”. And I have to say, I think being in our 40s is a pretty fabulous decade to be in these days. All my friends who are around my age are doing amazing things with their lives and inspiring me in so many ways. And for the most part, we really are just getting started with life.
Some of my high school friends have kids who are much older than mine and I am so inspired by what great mothers they are to these high school and college-aged kids. I love how they manage to be in-touch young mothers who really have a clue about what it’s like to be a teenager. And some of my college friends are single and living amazing lives in fabulous cities and holding down challenging jobs. I’m inspired every day by their ability to be so in touch with who they are and to be defined only by their own parameters. I have other friends who manage having both children and high-powered careers and am constantly in awe of the balance they are able to achieve. I guess what I’m saying is that being a woman in your 40s comes with a lot of challenges but the experience we have gained along the way has made us highly prepared to meet anything.
I truly believe that the key element to being happy at any age is to always believe that your best years are ahead of you. There is nothing more depressing and defeating than thinking that all the good stuff has already passed you by. You really have to keep hold of your dreams and know that you are making them happen. That’s what keeps you optimistic and engaged in life. And that in turn keeps you young at any age.
So to all my fabulous “in-our-40s” friends I say: Cheers! You gals make me proud to be one of you. Keep doing what you do and keep doing it with the grace you were born with. The best is yet to come. You are inspiring and strong. You are mothers, wives, girlfriends, aunts, teachers, best friends and sisters. And I am so grateful to be surrounded by such strong female energy!