Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How old do you have to be to....?

My kid turned five earlier this month. He is utterly and thoroughly delighted at becoming another year older.

He is constantly asking, "How old do you have to be to [insert something awesome here]?"

Or he'll say, "Can 5 year-olds [insert something rad here]?"

He is completely bought into the idea that each year older means more opportunity, more fun, and generally, more awesomeness.

If only this was the case for all of us.

I am approaching a milestone birthday this year as well, and while I love Birthday Fun Week and all of the fanfare that goes along with a big birthday, I've still been feeling kind of blah about it. But then, suddenly, last weekend, a few things occurred to me.
  • Would I really want to be, say, 30 years old again? Nope.
  • Are there amazing things I can do now that I couldn't do at 22...or 28...or even 35? Absolutely. 
  • Could it really be true that, even at my age, each year older might mean more awesomeness? Hmm. I think I'm on to something here. 
And so, here is a list of some (not all) of the awesome things you can do because you are (almost) 40.
  1. You know a little something about wine, you don't choose (usually) based on pretty labels, and you can afford the bottles you want to drink.
  2. You embrace change and know that, even when it's scary, charting new courses is a part of finding success. 
  3. You know and value your true friends, and you make time for each other. 
  4. But you also know that you do not have to be friends with anyone who isn't bringing positivity to your life. 
  5. You can eat bacon any time you want.
  6. You know that life is short, and taking risks is necessary to take full advantage of the time we have here. 
  7. But you also know that life is long, and it's best to surround yourself with the people that make you the happiest. 
  8. You are brave. And not the silly, blind braveness of your '20s. The strong, confident, I can-kick-the-shit-out-of-life kind of brave that changes lives. 
  9. You can buy the shoes or the handbag or the diamond earrings for no special reason at all. 
  10. You decide what looks good on you, rock whatever you want, and show off whatever body part you choose simply because it makes you feel good.
  11. You can say no.
  12. You make pain-free sacrifices for your family because what makes them happy makes you happy.
  13. You can be wrong, say you're sorry, admit your faults. And then you learn from it and move on. 
  14. You take long weekends with your partner or your girlfriends and go big in a way you never would have dreamed when you were in your '20s. 
  15. You make good choices, you make bad choices, you make miracles, you make missteps, you make great things happen, you make massive mistakes, but always, you own it all. 

One thing to note: Can 40 year-olds drink like they did in their '20s without any repercussions? Unfortunately, this is is a no. 

However, can 40 year-olds look ahead to another decade that just keeps getting more awesome? Absolutely yes.

I'll take that trade-off. 

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