Today begins my 40th trip around sun. I wish I would’ve journaled at 20 what I envisioned my life would look like at 40 because MAN, it sure turned out differently than I thought. And while I truly, truly believe everything ends up exactly like it’s supposed to, the road up to this point not only has been filled with bumps, but also with lots of adventurous and exhilarating twists and turns. I’ve said before one of my favorite parts of getting older is the wisdom that can only be gained by LIVING. Here are a few things I’m pondering on this day I turn 40.
Life is not perfect. I can’t think of one person whose life turned out EXACTLY the way they thought it would. You can choose to embrace the struggle or let the struggle embrace you.
Take a risk. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You’ll be right where you are now, but you’ll never be able to say you didn’t try. And you’ll end up wiser either way.
Create opportunities for yourself. Be an active participant in your life. Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait for opportunity to come to you. Grab what you want by the horns and get it!
You’ve only got one body, so take care of it! Get outside. MOVE! Cut out soda and all processed junk. Fill your body with foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, chances are you shouldn’t put it in your body.
There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Did you eat today? Good, because about 795+ million people probably didn’t. Do you make over $1000 a year? Good, because about 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. (I’ve seen it with my own eyes in Guatemala.) Do you have electricity? Good, because 1.2 billion people don’t. Can you read? (Assume you can if you are here.) Good, because 1 billion people can’t. (Stats from finca.org) Trust me, I’m just as quick to fall into the trap of self-pity, but even when our worlds are shattered, there is still good to be found. There is always SOMETHING to be thankful for.
Never say never. This is part of the whole “control relinquishing” mindset. I’ve said never more times than I care to count. And then have ended up eating those words. While there are some nevers currently on the tip of my tongue and they could spew any minute, I’m careful to watch for the will and glory of the Lord to unfold.
Can we all just get along? Seriously! Is it really that hard? There’s a whole lotta ya I don’t agree with and you don’t agree with me, but ya know what? I LOVE YOU. I don’t bash you. I don’t judge you. I’ll hug your neck. Share a meal with you. Rejoice in your successes and weep with you in failures. Society transposes disagreement and churns out hate. And I’m sick of it, y’all. Can’t we just agree to disagree without engaging? It’s not that hard really. Love one another. That’s it. Disagree without engagement.
Spend time with your family and friends. It seems like almost every week, someone I know or know of, dies. We aren’t getting younger and around 40, probably have seen half our life. When I ponder how quickly the last 40 years FLEW by, I want to spend as much time as I can with those I love the most. We aren’t promised tomorrow. And I am realizing that more every day. (And this is precisely why I moved back to Louisiana.)
Travel and travel far. There is a great, big, wide world out there just waiting to be explored by YOU! I’m begging you. Stop spending your money on things, and start spending on experiences. I squandered away my 20s trying to keep up with the Joneses. And it got me nowhere other than debt (which has since been paid off) and lots of headaches. Get out in this amazing world and the wonders made just for you to enjoy!
Invest in yourself. What’s the last book you’ve read that grew or challenged you personally or professionally? Who do you have in your life to speak truth over you? Make efforts to grow YOU and the dividends will reap accordingly. (Here’s why I chose to work with a life coach.)
Invest in others. You can never go wrong by serving the needs of those around you. Whether it’s those less fortunate or simply a friend in need of a kind and listening ear, the investment you make in others will not return void.
Forgive. This is BY FAR the hardest of all the above. When someone has wronged you, our knee-jerk reaction is revenge and the harboring of unforgiveness. But unforgiveness and unresolved anger eats and gnaws away at your happiness. I know because I lived it for season. And the instant I chose to forgive and move on, a weight was lifted and I was freed of the bitterness residing in my heart. Don’t allow someone else’s action to dictate your happiness. Make the choice to forgive and move on. This, too, shall pass. I promise.
My life is FAR from perfect. There are vices I lay down daily. But I have learned to “be content no matter the circumstances (Phil. 4:12),” cut out the drama and live life to the fullest! My sister’s Twitter bio says it best: Value: Transparency. High accountability. Low control. Much laughter. (@loricline39) Whatever age you are turning this year, take your life by the reigns, stop leaving things to chance, love others well and watch for the glorious unfolding!
Turning 40 isn’t so bad, y’all. I don’t know, but I’m feeling an incredible excitement about the next decade. God is up to something! I can’t wait to see what He continues to teach me and reveal in my life. What about you? What are some other insightful tips you can share that you’ve learned with age? Please share in the comments below.