On Forty…

Personal Work

Last year, before I turned 40, I wrote a gratitude list for my thirties. My thirties were all about big life changes – marriage, kids, jobs, homes, pets. My life as a real grown up started to unfold. But through all that, I lost and found parts of myself again. So this year, I thought I’d reflect back on my first year and share five small insights about year one in this decade.

Photo from my 40th birthday trip to Mexico. Artwork by my husband. 🙂

1. Not much is different…yet. I had heard your 40s were this magical phase where you stop caring about what everyone else thinks. So I was hoping that this would instantly happen because, “I’m forty now…”

Turns out, some of my tendencies have actually been worse this year. I’m still in therapy and suppose I still have nine more years to work this out. Wish me luck!

A double exposure, light leak shot on Porta 400

2. Always be willing to try something new. Pickleball has become a favorite activity. Movement, competitiveness, socialization and new friends! An outlet I didn’t know I needed, but am so glad I found.

Pickeball with my favorite foursome!

3. I made one decision that I felt so sure of and trusted myself on completely this year. I can’t begin to tell you how nice it felt to have that sort of clarity. But since then, I have wavered and wondered, “what if…” 

I’ve told myself it doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice, it was the choice that seemed right at the time. But damn if it doesn’t feel a little discouraging to feel uncertain over something you felt so certain on.

A self portrait captured after reading “The War of Art.” Shot on Portra 400

4. A bold lip has become my statement piece when I need to step it up. Simple method, minimal effort. Lets me keep my style casual, comfy, cute!

Lady Gaga concert with a beloved bold lip color!

5. I can do it all, but don’t want to anymore. The mental load of parenting, life, adulting is exhausting. I’ve started asking my husband for more help and offloading tasks to him. In the volunteer world, I’m working on doing my part and not being responsible for saving the world.

Double exposure shot on expired film

Favorites during Forty:

  • Movie: Triangle of Sadness – At first, I kind of hated the movie, but by the end I was oddly intrigued and I thought about it for a couple of days after. I respect certain artistic choices the director made that might not have seemed pleasing at the time, but kept me thinking about it much longer after by doing so.

  • Most Inspired by: Amy Liz – Vulnerable, bold, beautiful, encouraging, doing her thing, sharing her journey! She makes beautiful art, is so authentic and genuine in her support of other artists and is a beautiful soul in this world.

  • Listen: We Can Do Hard Things Podcast with Glennon Doyle – Episode 130 and 131 feat. Dr. Becky. I seriously wish Dr. Becky could walk around all day with me and help me parent.

Self portrait light leak shot on Porta 400

Cheers to the lessons that lie ahead with 41!

  1. Carla Cowan says:

    I love this post! So much insight and heartfelt reflection in the first year of your fifth decade!

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