Alas, these changes which tend to bum me out all too often are also paired with some wonderful blessings and gifts which totally eluded me in my 20’s:
- Material comfort- finally earning a decent living, owning a house and an office, being able to fix up our home and buy nice things, traveling regularly, and treating myself to the spa regularly. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t need to worry about money and paying the bills. This has been a dream come true after so many years of struggling to get by.
- A 12-year relationship with the man of my dreams- feeling totally committed, cozy, loved, lovable, and sharing my life with someone who totally gets me and who is truly my best friend.
- The stability to finally have pets! I have two loving and adorable Siberian cats that add so much joy and comfort to my daily round. (Photo credit: suvodeb)
- A fantastic career as a therapist- I run my own private practice in person and via phone and Skype all across Canada and have no one to answer to but myself. I set my own hours, fees, and manage to find balance between work, play, and rest.
- Coming into my own and feeling comfortable in my own skin- I’ve learned to settle into who I am and to befriend myself in a way I never could have dreamed of in my 20’s. I actually like and appreciate who I am and have stopped apologizing for perceived flaws (either in myself or through the eyes of others).
Even with all of these blessings, I am completely bewildered at how I could possibly be turning 40 on my next birthday and don’t exactly relish the thought. Ideally, I’d love to be able to magically mix my 20’s looks with my 30’s wisdom and stability and stay 30 forever, but as we all know, this is an impossibility (maybe not for long due to how advanced science is these days…)
So I guess my only choice is to proverbially ‘like it or lump it’…I choose liking it-okay, maybe I don’t exactly LIKE it, but I am choosing to feel positive, excited, and empowered about growing older. I guess it beats the alternative- being fearful, resentful, and living in regret or staying stuck by denying the entire aging process altogether. I definitely don’t want to become one of those women who do anything and everything in her power to stay youthful looking as long as is humanly possible. I definitely don’t find that empowering.
The fact is, we are all going to get older (that’s if we live long enough and are lucky enough), so we might as well have a positive attitude about it. To end, I’ll leave you with a list of some things I hope to enjoy in my 40’s- the next decade life will soon hand me:
- Continuing the amazingly rewarding and successful career I have and trying some new things like doing more video/television work, seeing more and more clients via Skype and telephone, speaking at conferences and doing more tours with my books.
- Enjoying more of the good life with my darling hubby- taking fun trips, more dance lessons, more barbecues on our back deck, and enjoying our dear friends.
- Richer and more satisfying friendships with other women- I have started to build these in my 30’s and look forward to nurturing and enriching these amazing bonds with my peers.
- More time with my family- traveling to exotic places together and enjoying family vacations/family time.
- Letting go of painful things, which happened in my past in other words-more therapy!
- Enjoying my hard-earned wisdom and passing it onto future generations of girls and women.
- Accepting my looks and body, as they are no matter what age I am.
- Enjoying more hobbies I love but don’t spend enough time doing like reading, knitting, mosaic-making, dancing, and doing hot yoga. Doing more writing and publishing.
Esther Kane, MSW, Registered Clinical Counselor, is the author of the book and audio program, “It’s Not About the Food: A Woman’s Guide To Making Peace with Food and Our Bodies” (www.endyoureatingdisorder.com) and “Dump That Chump”(www.dumpthatchump.com), and “What Your Mama Can’t or Won’t Teach You”(www.guidebooktowomanhood.com). Sign up for her free monthly e-zine, Women’s Community Counselor, to uplift and inspire women at: http://www.estherkane.com.