Somebody once told me that the 40’s were the best years of their lives. This was way back when I couldn’t imagine being that old! It seems like only yesterday that I kissed my husband for the first time when in fact I was just 19 and that was over half my life ago. It clearly wasn’t yesterday, not even close.
Then out of no where, while I have been busy being a wife, a mother, an auntie, a daughter, an educator, an advocate, a grown up (scary)… I turned forty.
Now I’m not worried about this number at all. I’m now officially middle aged and I’m quite looking forward to this new chapter. It’s true what everyone says when you are young and think that you know it all… you do become ‘older and wiser’. As you gain years you also gain experience as well as a few pounds and the odd stretch mark, you make mistakes but as you do you learn, you grow, and you discover who you are.
My life is far from perfect, I live with two chronic illnesses and navigate my children through the system daily with their own medical needs. I can’t lie, it’s not always easy, it has made me fight, cry, speak out and love more fiercely than I ever thought possible but it has also made me know compassion, contentment and be able to see the beauty in every single day. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Ever. I appreciate ever single person in my life who is good. I hope that they know that. And most of all I accept that things can be perfectly imperfect.
The top 40 things I’ve learnt in 40 years…
1. Some people you just click with… some you don’t.
2. You get out of relationships what you put in. If you don’t its OK to walk away.
3. With three kids at home you will NEVER have a peaceful bath again.
4. Couple time each day is important, just to make sure that you have a conversation. Make the house a kid free zone after 9pm.
5. Have a regular date night and try to get away on you own as a couple at least once every year, even for just a night.
6. If my husband and I go to long without sex we both get grumpy.
7. No one is perfect.
8. Social media is not real.
9. Family comes first, no questions.
10. Home is where you should want to run to at the end of a horrible day.
11. Make time to spend with those you love.
12. As your parents get older they will need you more than you need them.
13. Children really do grow up quickly, savour the little things.
14. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can.
15. Eat well but that can include a little of what you fancy, it does you good.
16. Drink plenty of water.
17. Keep your body moving, find something that you love to do and do it regularly don’t force yourself to do exercise you hate just because its good for you.
18. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
19. A dog really can be your best friend.
20. Honesty and integrity can be rare qualities these days, never compromise yours.
21. The only thing that is certain is change.
22. If you can’t afford to pay for something right now, always question if you actually need it.
23. Raising children is the most challenging job in the world but at the same time the most rewarding.
24. Champagne cocktails are delicious.
25. Watching your children struggle in life and being powerless to change things for them will be the hardest thing you ever have to do.
26. The system is firmly weighted against children with health and medical needs.
27. Manners matter.
28. Singing in the car is good for the soul.
29. Collect memories, it’s far better than collecting things.
30. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, it means that you’ve chosen to see life beyond the imperfections.
31. Grades matter but ultimately it’s your quilatities as a person that define who you are, not what it says about you on a piece of paper. Before everything raise your children to be kind.
32. Moderation is everything, find a balance.
33. Listen to your body, eat when your hungry, sleep when your tired, rest when you hurt.
34. Play to your strengths, no one is good at everything, learn what you are good at and show off your skills.
35. Life can be crap, its how you deal with that crap that defines who you are.
36. Have fun and be silly, it’s good for you, belly laughs with your friends are the best medicine.
37. You can never kiss your kids or tell them you love them too much.
38. Learn from the haters, the naysayers those people that just want to see you fail. Come back fighting and show them what you are made of.
39. Be kind.
40. Life is short, it’s not a dress rehearsal, go and live it.
What knowledge have you learnt as you have gained in years? The little pearl of wisdom you might go back and tell your younger self if you had the chance? You dont have to be 40 to join in… post your answer in the comments.