Last month I turned 40, October 10th to be precise. It was scary. It was good. I felt younger than I ever felt in my life. I also felt older than I ever felt. Why is that? I ask myself.
I was born in Haiti and when I was a child I remember I couldn’t wait to be older but not older like my mom. No. Older like my grandmother. It seemed to me she had it all. Children to guilt trip whenever they refuse to give into whatever she asks them to partake in no matter how unreasonable. Grandchildren to annoy. In Haiti older people are revered. They are believed to be wise and of a good influence. Although my grandmother was more like a very tall and old-looking child. Sometimes she behaved even worse than us children. She threw more tantrums than a teething baby.
Around here, it is like they expect people to fight to stay young at all cost. Specially women. and although it pains me greatly to admit it it does influence me in the end. While I consider it a privilege to grow old, there is a thought that has been haunting me lately. At 40 years old, I feel as though I am sort of halfway through my life duration, that is of course if I am lucky enough to live to be 80 years old. So with that constantly in mind, I feel an overwhelming need to simplify my life. In life so much rests upon so little. Everything is so fragile. So today I want to take time and share 5 things I learned when turning 40. So here we go:
1)Keep a journal
No matter how hard a time you’re facing now, remember it won’t last forever. One day you’ll look at that memory and be amazed at how far you’ve come and you’ll be so proud of yourself. You’ll look fondly at something that used to traumatize or frustrate you and realize that nothing has changed except you. Naturally if you’re lucky it would also mean you’ve survived. I admit keeping a journal is something I struggle with but it is so worth it.
2) You can’t see the light without seeing the crap
Usually seeing the light is most often seeing as this sort of epiphany, like a life changing moment and it is but I think that’s rather the glamorized version. Unfortunately seeing the light also comes hand in hand with seeing the crap. It is like having 20/20 vision. At 40 I felt like somebody piled up all of my crap and locked me in a room with it. Everything is made clear including past mistakes, negative patterns, lies we keep feeding ourselves, etc.
3) Time our most precious resource so don’t squander it
Nowadays I won’t even blink in the direction of things and people that are not worth my time and energy. I feel like I can’t afford to. I have no tolerance for repeated pettiness, crassness, pure selfishness and all the likes. Lately I’ve gotten into the habit of constantly reevaluating everything and everyone in my life to see if they are deserving of my time and energy and forever redirecting that time and energy towards people and things that deserve to be valued and cherished.
4) You are the most important person in your universe
Try and spend time with yourself, protect yourself, cherish yourself, love yourself above and beyond. You hold it all together. You give it meaning. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to pursue things that make you happy. It is okay to say no to things and people that no longer serve you even if it is a family member. Only you know what you need. Nobody else does. Care for yourself first. Everything starts and ends with you.
5) Life is in the simple things
Little moments of happiness are as important as big ones if not more. Don’t neglect the small stuff. Nothing makes me happier than a juicy burger and Netflix with dear husband on a Friday night. Dynasty marathons never gets old to me. Christmas playlists even when it is not Christmas yet. Hot tea on a cold day. The list goes on and on. Once you start paying attention to the little things, you find even more little things to enjoy.
Does any of that resonate with you? Would love to hear your thoughts! Please don’t forget to comment, share or like this article. I hope to be back on the 19th with another article, wish me luck!