I turned 43 this month. Birthdays in my 20s were spent saying what everyone else was saying, “I’m getting so old!” when in fact, we weren’t, really. It’s just something people said. “I’m a quarter century old, can you believe it?” and other nonsense. It meant nothing, but we didn’t know it at the time. We were taught to dread THIRTY, but frankly I don’t remember much about my 30s. That decade I was overworked, overtired, overstressed, overweight and frankly – over it. It’s a foggy mélange in my memory of mortgage-getting and baby-having. I woke up at 40. A series of unfortunate events may have been the ugly catalyst for my awakening, or maybe it would have happened anyway. I’ve heard people say that their 40s are the best – and the worst. You’re at the peak of responsibility – career, kids going to college maybe, perhaps taking care of parents, marriages get strained, hormones change – there’s a lot going on. But what if you take all those lemons and make lemonade? What if you start going to the gym, eating right, listening to your spouse, listening to your kids, plant a garden, get a job that suits you, say no when you need to, let toxic relationships go, get a bike, wear red lipstick and five inch heels and minis if you want, travel, watch baseball….What if you start living instead of waiting for your life to start? Instead of thinking things will get better some day, make them better today? Then maybe, just maybe, you could celebrate your birthdays with the same glee that you had as a kid when you told people your age in six-month increments. Maybe you would ride your bike in stillettos. Maybe you would tell anyone who would listen, “I’m 43 today!” because you were proud of it.
”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s tim…e. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” -Brené Brown
P.S. If you are thinking about ordering art for Christmas, I highly recommend ordering now! It keeps me from going crazy in November.