Tomorrow I turn 49.
With just 366 days until I turn 50, I wanted to reflect on some things I’ve discovered in my forties, and what I plan to accomplish before my half century mark.
I think many women struggle with this milestone, but I find it sort of freeing. Each decade brings new learnings and freedoms. The changes to our bodies become a negative focus rather than a badge of honor for the challenges we have survived. Our tolerance for bullshit has (hopefully) dissipated and clearing social clutter is easier. Our kids are older and (theoretically) a little more independent, and we have a chance to know who we are and whom we want to be.
Is this process perfect? ABSOLUTELY NOT. For moms, our 40’s are fraught with worry about our children as they navigate pre-teen and teen years. In the midst of their raging hormonal shifts, we have a battle of our own within our systems. This may, however, also provide some clarity when our kids deal with social drama.
Socially and emotionally, my greatest takeaway from my 40’s has been holding hard boundaries. At 40, both boys were in elementary school and I joined every committee I possibly could. A serial volunteer, I spent so much time trying to balance time for them and whatever committee commanded my attention, that my own career and passions simply ceased to exist. Saying NO didn’t come easy.
I also entered the decade trying to be friends with my kids’ friends’ parents. As my kiddos grew, I desired solid and positive influences for them. Sometimes this meant reclassifying certain relationships. We sought friends who share our core values and whom our kids could emulate. I remember the moment my kids recognized a toxic relationship I had and they schooled me with “Mom, you would never let us tolerate this from our friends, it’s time for you to expect the same from your friends.” DONE
Physically, the changes have been…interesting. While I don’t let it get me down, trying to get a handle on my body day-to-day often feels like a second full-time job. Ups and downs, insomnia and sweats–our 40’s are just the beginning of at the chaos.
So, How Will I Spend the Last 365 days of my Forties?
I will celebrate each day. The gifts from the journey so far will shape the joy of the next decade. I will relish in my confidence, my experience, and my abilities. Additionally, I will encourage each and every one of you here to get brave and bold.
I will take the time to understand what comes next physically. I will share here what a responsible 50 year old needs to do to stay strong. I’ll have my mammograms, a colonoscopy, regular dentist cleanings. Plus, I’ll share what I learn and why each item needs to be done–NO EXCUSES!!
I’ll work yet again (still?) on improving how I eat and exercise. Mostly because I want longevity, but accepting that it is TOTALLY OKAY TO WANT TO LOOK GOOD AS YOU GET OLDER TOO. For those in the back, I’ll say it again: there is NO shame in wanting your outside to match your mood, youth, and spirit.
My style will continue to grow and evolve. The “more moxie, less MILF” series will continue with a focus towards staying fresh, relevant, and sexy without looking like we try too hard.
And finally, I’m working with some incredible women in the next year to represent 50’s, 40’s, 30’s and 20’s. To share lessons generationally for women to prepare, collaborate, and find our common spaces.
What do YOU want to see here in the next year? How can we be FINER FORTY-NINERS together?
And as always, thanks for following along and sharing with others!