What’s 40 Supposed to Feel Like?

“May I see your I.D. please?”

“Um? Sure.” I said with a chuckle as I fumbled to hand the teenager my driver’s license.

“I know you probably have to ask everyone, but don’t you think I’m probably old enough to be your Mom?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure.” Blushing as he looked for the birth date.

“Believe it or not, I actually have a son that’s old enough to buy this wine.”

He smiled and I thanked him for being so friendly.

As I went about my day, I couldn’t help but think to myself, when did I start to feel like I was actually in my 40s? Over halfway through the decade and I can’t quite grasp what my 40s are supposed to feel like.

When I reached 40, I didn’t get wigged out like many people do. It didn’t bother me to be turning the big 4-0. I remember actually looking forward to it. In my 20s and 30s I felt like I was blindly making my way, trying to survive one day to the next in career, parenting and marriage. I was looking forward to hopefully feeling more secure and at peace with who I was. Only, I had no idea who I really was. Until…

At 41, I experienced true grief for the first time in my life with the unexpected death of my Dad. This event became the catalyst that would hurl me forward into getting real. My first realization was if tomorrow was not promised, I didn’t want to spend another minute feeling stuck in someone else’s skin. Up to that point, my life had been about pleasing and appeasing. Now, at 41, the desire to be myself had become so strong at times I felt like my heart was bursting out of my chest. None of it made sense or even felt logical, but for the first time my gut instinct trumped logic. Feeling stuck for the rest of my life was way scarier than taking a leap of faith.

That leap of faith came from a Divine source (and my Dad). It was in the mountains of South Dakota on the back of a motorcycle where I heard it loud and clear.

This is not who you are and not what you were placed on this earth to do. There is more.

It couldn’t have been any clearer. The only thing better would have been if God would have given me more specifics, but that was my work to do; the process of uncovering the gift of my true self that I had been covering all those years.

It didn’t happen overnight, but I couldn’t ignore the signs. It was as if the Holy Spirit was behind me, pushing me forward each time I would have doubt. This gave me the courage to leave a career that was draining and unsatisfying to pursue my passion of teaching yoga and running my own business. To truly be of service to others.

This could have happened in my 30s or maybe even my 20s, but it didn’t. I believe in the timing of everything. The journey was already set. It started with a whisper. God knew I was ready. My sons were young men and starting to require less of me. My husband and I both had the realization that happiness outweighs money any day of the week. And to feel like myself for the first time in my life is still changing me every day. I know that since I’ve spent so many years covering myself up, I will spend many years uncovering. It’s some of the most difficult work I’ve ever done and I’ve learned many lessons.

  • Trust your instincts ~ they are always right!
  • People will come and go. Let them! Your true friends are those who want absolutely nothing from you except friendship.
  • You can’t please everyone. Stop trying! (Still working on this!)
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable, but have healthy boundaries.
  • When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them the first time.
  • Commit to your growth, to loving yourself and following your heart.
  • JUMP! LEAP! FLY! Follow your passion. Create your legacy! The time is NOW!

As I look ahead to the remaining years of my 40s, I know the journey continues of uncovering myself. I’m excited to see what else is underneath. I look back on the lessons with gratitude and I look forward with excitement, but I live right now with joy.