I remember when I was in college. I used to think of my parents’ friends and colleagues who were in their 40s as so old. Somehow I looked at them and thought ‘wow, they look so old and ‘outdated’”. They definitely didn’t look ‘cool’ to me.
As I am getting older (and wiser!), I start to appreciate ‘aging’ process more. Luckily I don’t believe I look ‘old’. People still (kindly) think I’m in late 20s – early 30s. Maybe they were just being nice. But I’ll take it. Seriously, I believe I look better now than when I was in my 20s or 30s. Part of it is because I’m taking better care of myself. After two kids (now teenagers) I better consider what the best way is to treat my body. I’ve learned to eat better, exercise better (I’m always into sports and exercise is a routine for me), and nourish my body and soul more. I’m now grateful to my parents who gave me these great genes and encouraged me to play sports/be active and, most importantly, still are a role model to me for healthy eating.
However, regardless of how great in shape you are, if you are not emotionally and mentally healthy, your life is not going to be satisfying after 40. Let’s admit it, most people are not in such great shape physically after 40. But if you are able to ‘adjust’ your mindset to embrace the fact that you’re never going to look like Dwayne Johnson nor Charlize Theron, and you’re already doing your best to be healthy physically, I think that’s half battle won already.
When I say life starts at 40 is mainly because :
1. You know what priorities are in life. Giving up party nights for early bedtime so you can hit the gym early the next morning is no brainer. Spending time at home with your love ones is always better than going out to a happy hour with strangers from a MeetUp group.
2. You start to embrace those last 5 – 10 lbs or the underarm ‘batwing’ you will never get rid of.
3. Most likely you’re more financially stable and secure so you don’t always look at ways to save money all the time.
4. You’re smarter with your money. You splurge on things that you ‘want’ occasionally. But most of the time you don’t really ‘need’ anything.
5. You definitely understand the phrase “what people think of you is none your business”. And you can’t be happier.
6. You look back at all your failures or triumphs as lessons you’ve learned along the way. And you definitely have no regrets about what happened in the past.
7. Peer pressure does not cross your mind anymore.
8. You focus more on what makes YOU happy or how to accomplish certain goals in your life in the future.
9. You look at your parents/grandparents with more understanding and empathy, especially if you have kids of your own.
10. You feel very mature but you’re still very active and energetic to tackle challenges in life. You’ve gained enough experiences to make wiser decisions.
11. You have fewer, but better friends. And you’re more than happy about it.
12. You have been through some life-changing moments and that makes you appreciate your life more and don’t take each day for granted. You’re grateful for what you have and make peace with what you don’t.
13. You look at the world and people around you with different ‘lenses’. You’re more calm and content. You don’t let the news or politics fool you. You make your own research and develop your own decisions.
14. You also have more empathy toward people who are less fortunate. If you didn’t think about ‘giving back’ in your younger years, you start thinking about it now because you realize meaningful life should have a purpose. You want to do what you can to make this world a better place for next generations.
Being in the 40s is the best. When you were in your 20s or 30s you were searching for yourself. You were trying to make ends meet. You were making mistakes and possibly a bit too arrogant. People in their 40s have gone through all those. They have been through enough life experiences to appreciate little things in life. They’re mature but still young enough which makes them relate well to both younger and older groups.
With wisdom and knowledge over the past 40 years, you are who you are and definitely comfortable in your own skin. You realize that as long as you and your love ones are happy, that’s all that matters.