Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Turning 40 Reflections

Design by Anne Taintor

I'm still four months away from turning 40 and yet I find that I have really been reflecting on my life and what I've done thus far. What's scary about that is that I am still four months away and I wonder how I'll react when I finally do hit the big 4-0, technically the half way point of my life. Since my mom died at 69 and my dad is still alive at 85, forty is a good average age of my half way point.

Several of my friends turn forty this year too. My cousin, who was my closest childhood friend, turns 40 in a couple of weeks. My childhood best friend turned 40 in August and my elementary school best friend turns 40 this month. My middle school-college best friend turns 40 in December. Another middle school-college friend is having a big group birthday party with a bunch of friends who all turned 40 in 2009.

Lately I'm really interested in all my friends who are turning 40. I wonder how they are all taking this milestone. I wonder what they are really thinking and feeling. Are they freaked out or are they taking it in stride?

I think that what's freaking me out the most is that I feel like I still have so much I haven't done. I feel selfish saying this sometimes because I have done more than a lot of people and I completely appreciate this. I have two beautiful brilliant children and a husband who loves me. I've traveled a lot. I have an interesting job and I work for an exciting company and other things for which I am thankful. And yes I am thankful, but I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting more.

In the next four months I will be revising my goals and I will be really thinking about what I still want out of life. Writing plays a big part of it and will continue to play a big part of my future until I really give it the time that it deserves. I'm going to revise the timeline attached to each of those goals. The top of the list after writing will be my health and my home. I need to make a decision regarding this house. Will I remodel or rebuild? Once and for all I need to decide.

I think we should all take the time at least once a year to review our goals. I usually do mine at the end of the year and then review them again on my birthday in February.

In the past week I have taken two really thought provoking tests. One was the StrenthsFinder 2.0 test, which I was encouraged to take at work. StrengthsFinder 2.0 says my Top 5 Strenghts are: Communication, Learner, Activator, Woo, and Input. Woo means I love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. Activator means I'm impatient for action. Input and Learner both have to do with my love for learning and archiving what I learn. And well, Communication is pretty self explanatory. I am the master communicator. It even says that I am comfortable admitting "all sorts of things" about myself. I guess that's why I'm a blogger and a writer.

A few days ago I also took the life purpose test in the November issue of O Magazine. The test is "Who Are You Meant to Be? Self Assessment Test." My highest score was in Style #3- Striving to be Creative. I was not surprised by that response. What was funny was that FOUR areas all tied for second place. These were: Recognized, Spontaneous, Knowledgeable, and Secure.

Now I'm going to take all these latest finding about myself and I'm going to think about how they fit into my new goals for 40+.

When I was twenty-five my older sister died of cancer. She was only forty-two. Now I am about to be forty and I realize even more how fragile life can be.

Henry David Thoreau said, "Live the life you have imagined." Are you?

So, what are your goals for the coming year? What have you accomplished in your life?


Moose said...

My goals aren't of any serious note. I think I am ready to explore more of Europe: Mont St. Michele, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and also try to make my way to Thailand. ROCK N ROLL!!!!

But I have to admit, I think I am scared and a little sad about turning 40. My soul still feels like a youngster, but my body aches every morning and the wrinkles are slowly coming.

Unknown said...

Guys, I just think its all about being positive and having the right attitude! Sure you have to set goals and remember to set only achievable ones - little ones but more frequent - and yes you have to look after your health. In fact make that part of the goals you set for yourself. Looking after your health is one of the best investments you will ever make! Never give up!