I recently turned forty and found that instead of being saddened about it, I became very introspective. I took a long hard look at my life up until this point and started really thinking about the next phase. I almost completely filled a notebook with my feelings about entering my forties, what I had learned up until that point, and what I hoped to achieve going forward. I have thus started writing a series offering advice for women on how to improve various aspects of their life once they reach their forties. This series in now way is intended to sound preachy, arrogant or as though I have all the answers. When I offer suggestions on how to improve the quality of a woman’s life in her forties, I am advising myself as well as others. I am encouraging myself to be the best I can be, and hope to encourage others to be their best selves as well. Turning forty does not have to be the start of the end, it can be a fabulous new beginning. The first article in this series focuses on striving to increase a woman’s happiness once she reaches her forties.
Accept The Physical Changes That Come With Entering The Forties.
Things are not as tight as smooth, and bodies are not as lean as they once were. Small lines appear where before there were none. Hair is not as thick and lush and skin is not quite as bright. These are inevitable changes that occur around the time a woman reaches forty. It does no good to dwell on what you looked like in your twenties or thirties. It is a new decade and with every line, sag and gray hair, there is wisdom that was gained, laughter that was had and memories that can never be erased. Aim to grow old gracefully and love yourselves for exactly how you are now, not as you were a decade or two ago.
Let Go Of Your Childhood.
No ones childhood was perfect. We all experienced hurts,disappointments and less than pleasant social interactions with peers. Turning forty is the time to leave those childhood hurts and painful experiences in the past and truly move on. If certain childhood experiences were extremely painful and still cause you heartache today, make your forties the time to work through them once and for all. Seek counseling if necessary. You deserve to spend the next forty years free from the pain of the past.
Forgive The Person Who Hurt You The Most In Your Life.
Forgiveness is truly a gift you give yourself. Holding on to an angry grudge robs you of happiness. Don’t forgive the person for them, do it for you. You truly deserve to live the next forty years free from painful and energy sapping anger.
We all make mistakes.Not one of us has lived a perfect life or failed to ever hurt another human being. Vow to make the forties the decade where you forgive your failings and accept and love yourself for the imperfect person you are, who is trying to become a better person each and every day.
Realize Who You’re True Friends Are And Devote Your Time And Energy To Only Them.
Life is far too short to spend it in the company of those who are selfish, unkind or stab you in the back at every turn. Unfortunately, many women in their forties still behave as though they are in junior high school. Weed those women out of your life and spend your time with friends who are loyal, kind and make you laugh instead of cry. You will surely spend your forties much happier than you did your thirties and twenties.
Find The Time Each And Every Day To Do Something That Makes You Happy.
Leave the mountain of laundry for another few hours, say “no” when you are asked for the hundredth time to volunteer at your child’s school function or order takeout instead of spending two hours in front of the hot stove. Make the time every day to read, take a hot bath, chat on the phone with an old friend, paint your toenails or turn up the stereo and dance to your favorite songs. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for you. You don’t need to be everything to everybody. Your family and friends will survive if your house isn’t perfect, you can’t bake that extra try of brownies for the bake sale or they just don’t get your signature lasagna when they were craving it. Trying to the needs and desires of everyone around you at the expense of your own is a sure way to rob you of personal joy and happiness. Taking at least thirty minutes or an hour out of each day, just for you, will help you to remember that you count just as much as everyone else and your happiness is ultimately in your own hands.