If the saying life begins at 40 is true then mine began last week and I am so prepared to live this life.
I have been ready for this milestone for a while now. God in his graciousness allowed me to have all the desires of my heart for that day.
Turning 40 is bitter sweet. For some people like yours truly we embrace it and choose to rejoice in the fact that finally we now belong on the fourth floor. Others however tend to have mixed feelings about reaching this milestone and choose to quietly ascend to the next level. Sadly majority of such people are women. Different views exist for why this happens but majority stems from the benchmarks society has placed on us as women. I have a friend who confided in me that every time her birthday comes around she goes into a depression because she is reminded that she has added another year and yet she is still single. For other women, the shame comes from the fact that they have not YET joined the motherhood club. Better still, others like myself have fears that steam from the fact that they are not where they thought they would be in their professional life.
Recently, I read an article on LinkedIn by Whitney Johnson entitled Forty Women Over Forty To Watch. In the article she makes a case to counter the debate that once you clock 40 you are past your prime time. She quoted psychologist Erik Erikson who said,
“This is a period of generativity, where our wealth of knowledge and know how can move innovation into overdrive. It is a time where we are supremely motivated to do not just for ourselves, but for others as we ask the question what can I do to make my life really count?”
Indeed this is the question on my mind as I start this decade. To me it is not about what is in it for me anymore but how can I be used to be a blessing to another person. Below I share some resolutions I have made for living life on the fourth floor.
1. Live life with authenticity
Living life with authenticity begins with acceptance of who you are flaws and all. It calls for making a choice to enjoy both the blessings and the curses.
Granted I would have loved to be in a corner office with a good address on my business card. Instead, for now my home office which also doubles as the gym will have to do. My business cards with no physical address but only telephone contacts and emails will suffice.
I refuse to attend the pity party thrown for me. This is because I will again be told since I do not have what the world considers to be professional accomplishments I am not successful. Instead, I choose to accept my lot in life and use my skills and abilities to impact the lives of those who cross my path by empowering them to achieve their desired results.
Living with authenticity will also mean I choose to do what feels right for me not what society has conditioned me to be. We all know that we are a result of our upbringing and many other factors we encounter in the environment like the schools we attend, the professions we belong to and so on. The fact that I went to law school should not bar me from enjoying my love for colour and wear vibrate colors instead of the traditional black, grey and brown.
Authenticity will require that the real me comes out and that I go against set norms by choosing to listen to what Tara Mohr calls my inner mentor and drown out the inner critic.
2. Always remember I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I mean who would not want to have arms like Michelle Obama’s? in my case it may not happen so I might as well accept and love what I have. This explains why I choose to wear the dress above on my big day. As women we all have parts of our bodies we wished were different. In my case the fact that I have to wax my chin every two weeks makes me wonder why me?.
My beautiful mother tells me when she gave birth to me at Buhinga Hospital in Fort Portal District the doctor told her “be aware of the dogs”. She did not understand what he meant and when she asked him the next morning he laughed and said “don’t you see you have given birth to a beautiful girl?” I will therefore draw from this compliment and also remember that when the creator looked at what he had made he was pleased.
I am grateful to all those who took time to send me good wishes on my big day and speak blessing into my life. Special thank you to my dearest husband and children who labored to see to it that I enjoyed my long awaited birthday. I look forward to indeed living life to the full.