While scrolling my FB feed I stumbled upon an article with the headline: 15 Things Every Woman Should Do by the age of 40. Hooray! I quickly clicked to learn… what the heck I should be doing. OR…Wait a minute, who am I kidding? I opened the article to compare myself to her list.
You can imagine my shock to realize I’d completed most of them. I was ecstatic, like I’d won the lottery! But wait a second. I did these things I would be where I am supposed to be in life? But, clearly, I’m still figuring life out. Oh no. Now what?
First of all, who decides we should “do” things by a certain age? Age really is a number. A collection of days in a row. Some we are riding strong and others we are picking ourselves up from falling… hard. Some years we are “on track”, others waaaaaaaaaayyy of course.
I wonder, why is 40 the magic number? I’ve witnessed many people make awesome breakthroughs and changes in their lives after 50. What if someone reading this list hasn’t ticked them off by age 39? Will they feel bad that aren’t as far along in the game of life? I sure hope not. Comparing ourselves to others is the thief of joy.
Ding, Ding, Ding! I think the article should read: 15 Things Every Person Should Consider Doing In Their Lives to Open Themselves up to Incredible Experiences and Opportunities. It’s not as catchy and eye grabbing, but it feels more playful and less pressuring. Life is anything but a race! Life is about the journey.
A trip down memory lane and I quickly realize: the reward is not the passport stamp. Or the medal for crossing the finish line. It’s the thought process from idea to implementation! Rewards show up as the friends made while running mile after mile to get ready for the big day. It’s feeling empowered and listening to your gut. It’s being brave! Saying YES to YOU! There is no one else inside your head besides you. We can’t expect anyone else to be responsible for our actions and thought process. We are the reward of our choices. Unless you know something I don’t, there are no safety nets in life. Risk really does equal reward.
Career Change At Least Once
I worked for DragonBallZ (a Japanese Cartoon), was a Hotel PR Manager & a Travel RN Recruiter with 3 companies for almost 7 years…just to name a few. AND the best part: I never quit any of these jobs. So how did I change careers? I manifested being terminated. Trust me, I know it sounds like hogwash, but it really did happen. And each time the window (of opportunity) opened, I dove through it! There’s so much to learn hands on in life and the only way to do it… is take action. One solution: start a new career. I’m not saying it’s easy but it has been rewarding. And it starts with being curious and believing in yourself. Change is good.
Do Something “Crazy” = 6 week, 15 city road trip, solo, moving from San Diego, CA to Wilmington, NC –a city I’d never visited nor knew anyone upon arrival. Yup, kind of crazy. You see, I’d ‘planned’ to move with a friend who was relocating for work but her company was bought out and she could no longer go. The plan was for me to take my remote job.. with me. But remember that manifesting I mentioned above? Deep down I didn’t want to take the job with me. And you guessed it, I was let go. What began as a vision to go with a friend and a job, was no longer an option. If I went, I’d go solo, no job. But, I had severance and unemployment. I also had lots of friends across the country. Scared to step into complete uncertainty, I did it. With everyone telling me I was “crazy”. And of course…countless serendipitous stories to come out of this self adventure. From Sunsets in San Fran to the Sundance Film Festival to stuck in snow in Tulsa, OK to an Usher Superbowl Party in Dallas… one experience after another. All because I was crazy 🙂
Live Within Our Means = I’ve been debt free and I know what it’s like to have debt up to my eye balls. Money is energy. It comes and it goes. I do my best to stay in my means. But sometimes we need a loan on life, to make up for our “mistakes” or invest in ourselves. It’s a matter of spending wisely.
Learn to Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin = I know (and love) who I am because my parents made me. I see exercise as a lifestyle. Food and I were not friends for most of my 20s but I fixed that in my 30s, even through food and I get into a serious fight every now and then. At one point I didn’t have 2 front teeth (SEE BLOG ABOUT IT!), but I smiled anyways. I’ve watched my body grow and change as needed. I’m grateful to be able to walk, run and explore. How about you?
Be Glamorous = YES. I love my Little Black Dress (es).
Chase A Dream = I literally… chased it. My love of running and my love of Boston meant… I had a dream to Run the Boston Marathon. But I’m not fast. So I added in another part of my dream. Run Boston.. for Multiple Sclerosis, my cause. I had to apply, train in the freezing winter in Colorado, raised over $7500 but I did it! I ran 26.2 miles in the 119th Boston Marathon. One of the best dreams/ decisions I chased/made happen.
Visit Another Country = I’m on passport #3 since age 16. Favorites include Israel, Ireland, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand & Peru. Curiousity can’t keep me still for too long! Where do you want to visit?
Step out of our Comfort Zone = I don’t step… I leap!! I leaped out of a perfectly working airplane, into conversations with strangers, into new cities, the list goes on and on. With each leap I am stronger and more confident in myself. Where will YOU leap?
Find A Cause = My cause is Multiple Sclerosis due to my diagnosis at age 19. But, it was my choice to get involved to support and inspire not only myself but others living with MS. What speaks to your heart?
Make and live by a soul mate wish list = still working on this, but my list has evolved over the years. Which means I am growing. And growth is good.
Learn not to settle = I learned this very quickly. Something beautiful and new can happen every day if when we are open to possibilities. When I feel like I’m settling, I feel called to change. If you could change anything, what would it be?
Start over completely = I’m pretty much a pro at this. You know what I learned? I am super resourceful. I love solving puzzles and making the pieces fit together. I love looking for the silver lining. And I love the challenge of something brand new. I moved solo to Dallas, San Diego, Wilmington & Denver — from relationships to careers, I created a wonderful life for myself, one day and one person and one experience at a time. Where will you start over?
Love with complete abandon = It’s scary to open ourselves to another. But that’s part of the risk. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Sure I’ve experienced heart break. Do I have regrets? NO! I truly believe it is better to love— and to know we can love– than to not love at all.
Tell someone exactly how you feel = We deserve to speak our truth. It took a while for me to completely open up — especially with men— but I’m proud I not only honor my own voice but, I want to share it now, too. Grateful for my teachers along the way. Do you speak your truth?
Write your story. Just write = WOW. Finding this as the last item on the list really put me in my place. I have written some of my story. I’ve shared the safe bits and pieces but there’s so much more I must write! When I think of all that I HAVEN’T shared! Time to get on it.
So, now what? Am I done? HECK NO! Why should evolving in so many ways stop at 40? No matter your age, the lesson is to keep challenging yourself to expand your magic. You can choose to survive or you can choose to thrive! Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty… no matter your age.
I can’t wait to see what 50 brings 😉
Cheers to Our Journeys!