Monday, July 21, 2008

Forty (Not the Song by U2)

My birthday is on its way (August 11th), and it’s the big one this year. I’m turning 40. Sweet Dub says I shouldn’t tell people that, but you know what? I don’t really have a problem with it. If other people do, that’s their issue. I’m not going to get all hung up about it.

Since this is a “milestone” birthday, it gives me pause and makes me a bit reflective. Here are some reasons why I feel blessed to have lived through nearly 40 years on this planet:

* I honestly do not give a rat’s ass about what other people think about how I live my life.

* I still get carded when I buy alcoholic beverages (good genes haven’t let me down yet).

* I don’t have to be trendy.

* I am more comfortable with myself than when I turned 30, and much more so than when I turned 20. This makes me look forward to the years to come.

* I have finally learned how to say no.

* While I do like to look good, I realize that (to quote India.Arie), “I am not my hair, I am not my skin…” Who I am is not just what I look like.

* On a related note, and this is not a contradiction of my previous point: regular application of moisturizer and sunscreen are critically important.

* Finding the right life partner makes a huge difference in how you live your life as you age. Find someone who makes you laugh, who makes you think, and who has his/her head on straight. It will save you a lot of grief.

* Good friends are a great gift.

* Sometimes it’s easier to let the small things go. And there are a lot more small things than you might think.

* Certain things you can’t go cheap on. Wine, bras, and shoes come to mind. Oh, and garbage bags. Don’t go with the cheap garbage bags.

This is what comes to mind this minute. I am sure I will amend later. What would you add? Even if you haven’t yet reached 40, what are some important life lessons you’ve learned?

P.S. New post up at Belly Overwhelmed, too.


Cee in SF said...

16 days 'til my b-day and I've been reflecting, too. I'm with you on garbage bags and shoes (finally). I also no longer fear heirarchy. I treat all people with respect and hope to get it in return. It has not failed me so far.

BTW, that U2 song is DAMN good!

Nerd Girl said...

I love your list - especially bullet number one!

I have learned to say yes. Yes to things and people that make me happy and not feel guilty for being happy. In doing so I have learned to remove negativity - people and things from my life.

Happy early 40th!

Lisa Blah Blah said...

cee: Yes, I like that point about the hierarchy. Too often we get caught up in a fear/distrust of that whole artificial ordering of people and things. People are just people, no?

nerd girl: Way to turn a negative into a positive! I always think of myself as an optimist but this list probably reflected what was going on with me that day (and thus sounds a bit...hmm...let's say grouchy.). I think I should create an addendum directly underneath "I have learned to say no" that says "I have also learned to say yes." Because if you don't, you shut out a lot of great energy. Thanks.

E. said...

I turned 40 in June, and I say tell the world. I'm tired of people talking about how old everyone is. When I tell people I'm 40, they're shocked, and I figure it's a lesson. 40 is not old, or at least it doesn't have to be.

I'm with you on not sweating the little things, and also on investing in wine, shoes, bras, and decent garbage bags. And tasty, healthy food. I'm a teacher. My husband is a half-time teacher and half-time stay-at-home dad. We are not rich. But we buy organic strawberries and good cheese and always have lots of avocados on hand. We get our bread from the French bakery three blocks from our house. It's worth it.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

e: Yes, I completely agree. I feel like we spend a fortune on food, but that's because one of the things Sweet Dub agreed on at the beginning of our relationship was: "Don't skimp on food." I don't buy junk. We eat a lot of fresh organic fruits and veggies -- during our "staycation" I had to keep going back to the market every couple of days because our snacks were mainly raw fruits (peaches, berries, watermelon & pineapple) and veggies (hummus, carrots and cucumbers) and we were going through them so fast.

They say you are what you eat, and this I believe is true. Nice reminder.