For my 40th birthday I was given a silver “40” charm on a silver bracelet. It is a beautiful bracelet and was a heartfelt gift from my husband’s parents to celebrate my milestone birthday.
For two years I have looked at this beautiful object with admiration and dread. I have never worn it. To me if I wore it meant that I was no longer a girl, old, not sexy anymore and past my prime. So caught up in my fear was I that made a tiny “40” on a bracelet mean so many things.
Today I decided not to give into the fear and I decided to wear my bracelet with the “40” charm on it. I was not going to care about what others thought and I wasn’t going to make it mean anything. Today I saw the bracelet and I thought – you are no longer a girl. You do not want to be a girl. Wear the bracelet. You are a woman. Own your forty two years on this planet and make them count!”
So what is it about growing older that has us all rattled?
Is it purely about looks? Are we making fading looks, lost sex appeal synonymous with aging? Are feelings of self worth inextricably tangled with our looks? I remember reading an interview with a celebrity who said that once she turned 40 she felt invisible in a room. This is purely superficial stuff though. Did my husband, children, friends and family find me invisible when I turned 40? Did growing older change my ability to contribute to my community in a positive way? Hell No! I am still me.
It all comes back to gratitude – looking at your life right now and being genuinely grateful for the family, friends, experiences and wisdom that you have right now. I for one, am grateful that we live in an age where forty is now considered the half way mark and not the end of the line. A hundred years ago most women were not expected to make it past 40. Forty year old’s are starting families, gaining tertiary qualifications and starting new careers every day. I am grateful to all the courageous women that came before me and have made it possible for women to do just about everything at any age. Now is all that we truly have. The past is in the past let go of it, get comfortable with change.
The freeing power of getting older
I’d like you to consider how freeing getting older is. In your twenties you are just discovering yourself, there is so much pressure to look a certain way, to figure out what you want to do, find a partner and all that stuff. It is an exciting time, but you spend so much time worrying about what other people think about you.
The thirties are generally consumed with being pregnant and raising young children, for most women. This is an amazing time where you learn so many beautiful lessons about unconditional love and what you are really capable as a woman. It is also an incredibly tiring time where the majority of us lose ourselves a bit in the self sacrifice of others.
For me my forties is where I found myself again. My children are getting a bit older and I have a bit of my own time back again. I have found the I am able to rediscover who I am as a person and what I am passionate about. I am able to able to pick up all the things I left behind, things that I sacrificed on the pyre of motherhood and rediscover them anew. To prioritize myself without the guilt.
I am able to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I have discovered the freeing wisdom of not caring of what other people think. Other people are so caught up in their own lives -they are not even watching me! I have come to the realisation that I will never be nor what to be a Kardashian, so why would I be so important that they would even care? In my forties I have discovered courage to be me, confront myself to figure out what is important to me. I now know that the only person that is stopping me is me.
Which brings me back to my original thoughts on wearing my bracelet…
Claim your age no matter how old you are. Own your years, your voice, your experiences, your truths, your wisdom and all the amazing things that make you the incredible woman that you are. Don’t care what people might think, they aren’t even watching. You be you…
and wear the damn bracelet!
How do you feel about being getting older? I would love to hear from you.