Another Year Bolder
Assuming I’m not hit by a bus in the next few days, I’ll turn the big 4-0 this weekend. Honestly, the number has stung a bit more than the last 39, which I never really paid attention to (and one time, I even lost track of). I spent a whole year thinking I was 34 when I was really 33. But 40? I can’t seem to forget about this one. It just seems so old. I remember when my parents turned 40 and black "Over The Hill" signs dotted our yard. I was 15 and thought they were ancient. Man, was I young and stupid back then.
I can’t help but be slightly overwhelmed at all the things I have to do now that I’m turning 40: Update my life insurance policy, get my cholesterol checked and schedule a mammogram. Things just got real.
As my 30s come into focus in my rearview mirror, I’ve spent some considerable time reflecting on lessons and observations from the past few decades. Here are the 40 things I’ve learned over the past 40 years:
- You are always stronger than you think. Always.
- Never lose sleep over someone you don’t wake up next to.
- At this age, dating is like, "Are we going to do this or what? Cause I’ve got sh*t to do."
- Who you are at your worst moment is not who you are.
- How people treat you is their karma. How you react to it is yours.
- When your parents told you, "Nothing good ever happens after midnight," they were right.
- Travel alone.
- Before you decide you’re depressed or have low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a bunch of a**holes.
- Strong is the new skinny.
- Some people need a high five. In the face. With a chair.
- If you think there’s something more, there is.
- Your parents did the best they could.
- Give sincere compliments and accept them graciously.
- Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
- It’s better to regret than to wonder.
- Learn the difference between a Phillips and a flathead.
- Live within your means and save for retirement.
- Confidence is sexier than any black dress you’ll ever own.
- Apologize sincerely when you’re wrong.
- Cherish your friends.
- If you didn’t get what you wanted, consider that maybe you weren’t meant to have it.
- There are seven billion people in the world. You don’t have to please them all and they’re not all going to like you.
- The best thing about being 40 is I did most of my really stupid stuff before YouTube and Facebook were invented.
- Forgive the people who hurt you, but never forget what they taught you.
- Successful people know their strengths. Don’t minimize your talents.
- The book is always better than the movie.
- No job is beneath you.
- Do the right thing, even if it costs more, takes longer or isn’t as easy.
- Everyone comes into your life for a reason. Sometimes you’re the student, sometimes you’re the teacher.
- If you start beating yourself up over a poor decision you made, remember that some women marry their death row pen pals. Then you won’t feel so bad about your life choices.
- There is no shame in asking for help.
- Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting more.
- Say "yes" to things outside your comfort zone.
- The safest thing you’ll ever do is something you love.
- Buy the shoes.
- There’s always that one guy. He may bring out the best in you; he may bring out the worst in you. But he brings out something in you no one else does.
- Don’t compromise yourself. Your integrity is all you’ve got.
- Don’t make decisions based in fear.
- Getting old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative.
- It’s all going to work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of a rescued Dalmatian named Stanley.
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