I can remember feeling excited and looking forward to turning this monumental milestone. I felt young and proud and started to plan how to celebrate with my friends. I was preparing to walk into a new decade and embrace the future.
But as the days got closer, depression began to sink in, and I stopped planning. I stopped feeling joy. Instead, I felt disappointed looking at all my unfinished bucket lists and goals I hadn’t accomplished. I felt less than.
As the weeks got closer and friends asked about my plans, I lied and said they were still in the making, knowing I no longer wanted to celebrate. I isolated myself and cried for weeks.
When the day came, I worked on my birthday, and it felt like the worst day ever. I tried so hard to make it happy. I really did. I got dressed up and went to work. No one remembered, my family hadn’t called, and then I was scolded at work by a superior.
I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and I cried. I finally exploded and said out loud that I was 40 years old and wasn’t ready. After releasing my emotions, my co-worker bought me a beautiful bouquet, and we laughed.
Even after a few weeks into being 40, it wasn’t easy to accept, but finally, I changed my self-talk and took pride in all my accomplishments. I recognized the amazing woman that I am and wanted to celebrate that.
I can now laugh about that period of time. It’s a reminder to give myself grace. Even if I haven’t accomplished the goals I set out to by their due date, it doesn’t mean I’ve run out of time.
I believe God has a plan and knows the journey we must all take. Sometimes we meet our goals later than expected with good reason. We need to be seasoned and prepared for what awaits. Or maybe that goal was never meant for us to begin with.
Be kind to yourself and be kind to a friend who may be going through something when turning 40, 50, 60, or 70. Celebrate, enjoy, and have fun right where you are!