Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On Turning 40...

So, I have a friend online. She's turning 40 this week and is, quite understandably, a bit nervous about the BIG 4-0. She asked for stories to help her through this trying and emotional time and it got me thinking about where I was when I turned 40 and what I (now) wish someone would have said to me as I embarked on a new decade of life.

So here it is. This is what I want to say to anyone freaking out about facing any big milestone birthday...

Hey girl! (or boy) This is it. The BIG one. The BIG 4-0. The defining moment of your life. Middle Age. The moment of truth. Destiny's vision realized. The major turning point where upon all other deeds will originate for the rest of your life. Yes. The ONE moment in time in ALL of your existence that you'll see those two numbers side by side therefore, that must mean something, right? Yep. I know. It's Scary stuff. I've been there too. But since you asked and since I'm older than you, do you want to know the super big secret to making the most of 40? Okay. I'm going to tell have to promise to keep an open mind. Are you ready???

40 by cauldrongraphix via flickr

If you believe any of that stuff, you are buying into a LIE.
Seriously. All of that stuff is hooey.
Just to prove my point - now that you know it's all a lie, read the paragraph above again. 
Go ahead. I'll wait....

Isn't it kind of sad that THAT is what we think and feel when we hit big "milestone" birthdays? Man. No wonder I was paralyzed when I turned 40. I mean...sheesh. NO Pressure! Phfft! But you know what? It's all bullsh**.

When I turned 40, I just KNEW it would be my year. So, since it was SUCH a big deal, I waited for something important to happen. Oh sure, I kept doing things, but the whole time I fantasized about that magical moment when the time would be just right to really move my plans forward. Then I made more plans. I also talked about them constantly. Talked and talked. I hoped and planned and talked some more. I found myself wishing that someone, anyone, would show up and just tell me what I needed to do to make things feel right so I could move past the nauseous feeling of floundering and flailing that plagued me every day.

You know what all that waiting around accomplished? Some perspective maybe? An inner peace? A path to nirvana? What do you think? (Wait for it...)


Nothing! I wasted my days. Had many sleepless nights. Next thing you know, I wake up and here I am - I'm turning 45 this year with the horrible, terrible realization that I am quite literally STILL waiting for that big "thing" to happen. I mean, what the...? This is NOT how I thought it would work out. Not at all.

Okay, okay. It's not all bad. I look back and I am definitely proud of a lot of the things I've done over the last 5 years...but honestly, if I could do it all over again, I would stop myself right where you are right NOW - at 40 - and tell myself: QUIT waiting, stop worrying about the calendar, stop caring about other people's opinions, and let go of the expectation that anything is going happen the way you think it's supposed to happen.

Life just doesn't work that way. Life is a living breathing thing. If you let it sit and wait, it will wait. And wait. And wait. Until it forgets how to LIVE. Then you're screwed. Take it from me. It sucks to wake up and realize that your "risk-taking muscles" have atrophied from waiting.

Look. You can either burn daylight waiting around for a more perfect day to flex those muscles or you can take a walk in the sunshine and see where the path leads you. It's your choice, but if you want to feel better about 40, take my advice:


Only by DOING can you ensure that at 45, you'll be able to look back on your last 5 years and have a much more inspiring story to tell than the one that I personally let slip away due to intense fear and hesitation.

It is time to get out of your head and back to reality. Don't you dare let stories, fears, expectations, assumptions, and lies hold you back. They do not give you the protection they claim to give. Instead, they are dastardly thieves, stealing your future from you bit by bit...until one day: BOOM. 45. BOOM. 50. BOOM. 60.

This is life. Today. You are living it NOW. Instead of waiting for milestones to pass us by, let's CREATE milestones that we'll be proud to talk about in 5 years. Deal?


  1. Marlo...such great advice for all...especially those of us who have hit that milestone already! I accept your deal!

    1. Thanks for dropping by kathyoinspirations! Here's to brave new adventures!

  2. Love it - thanks for your honesty! You posted this the week after I turned 40. So far, the build up was so much worse than the actual event. Thank you for the inspiration, and the wake up call:)

    1. Thanks Sarah! Yes. Our fears are almost always worse than reality when it comes to stuff like this, isn't it? Yay for turning 40! :D

  3. Just wait until you turn 55! :-) 45 is a great age, but wait, 55 is even better! Enjoyed your Etsy presentations at Craftcation!


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