Ha! That’s me. I turned 40 plus one on Sunday! Just in case you need a reminder that is four decades plus one year.
I know, I know, I don’t look past 32 (*wink*), but I’ve had a long-time friend tell me that I seem to always be looking better as I get older. Wait..what??
Side bar – So what did I look like before?
Ironically, we are heading out as I am writing this to a friend’s 40th birthday dinner. It seems there are a group of us either turning 40 or 41 this year - 73’ and 74’ were awesome year’s friends!
Can I get honest?
Last year I hated turning 40! I didn’t like it. I wanted to believe I was still 35, not 40. 40 meant I was getting old. 40 meant I was closer to 50. 40 meant I was possibly through half of my existence.
But now that I’m 41, I think I’ve finally gotten the “I hate turning 40″ pity party out of my system. Listen, I’m still not crazy about the fact that I’ll never ever go back to my 20s or 30s. And, frankly, I’m a little confused about where those decades went? I’d trade a month’s supply of wrinkle cream for another night of watching the Flock of Seagulls or Depeche Mode at Knott’s Berry Farm! (and all the spiritual-people went oohhh!!) I finally have some appreciation for what this new decade I’m in has to offer.
So, for what it’s worth, there are some things about turning 40 (or in my case 41) that are pretty awesome and you learn to appreciate those times a friend calls you and asks you what is wrong? You are not yourself. She tries to be nice about it, but I remember texting her and saying, “I think you just told me to get my “you-know-what” together, put a smile on and be happy for goodness-sake, life isn’t that bad!”
So...here are 5 things that will make turning 41 even sweeter.
1. Giving advice comes easy but only if others ask for it. At 41, the School of Hard Knocks qualifies you for at least a Bachelor’s degree in Advice Giving, right? (The Masters comes at 60!) This isn’t to say I have all the answers, far from it. But at 41, you’ve had enough experience to understand there’s actually very little in life that isn’t, at least, survivable. Sure, there have been events in my life that have changed me, like my dad passing away just before I turned 40. But at 41, I will still get up each day and put one foot in each pant leg like everyone else. At 41 chances are you’ve seen close friends or even yourself go through it (illness, divorce, layoffs, bankruptcies, etc.) and live to tell about it. When you hear someone say “Time heals all wounds” you realize it isn’t a cliché but that it really does take A LOT of time.
At 41, you realize too that none of this would be possible without Jesus and the true, raw, and real relationship you have with Him. That He takes your imperfect and causes it to be a blessing. He takes your stupidity of your 20s and 30s and says, “Yep, that, see that, I’m going to take it and use it for My good.” I could be a mentor that might have all the answers, have the truest of friends, accept myself for who I am or do what I’m passionate about, but will never want to walk a day in my life without the One who provides the answers when He makes a way where there seemed to be no way. The One who is the only friend I need but gives me favor to love others also. The One who accepts me because He made me and the One who gives me the desires of my heart. Nothing about turning 41 brings me more gratefulness than a God who truly has been there all these 41 years. He knows every step I’ve taken thus far, every decision I’ve made and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Maybe you just turned 40 or 41; do you have anything that needs to be added to this list?