The 40th Year and the Evolution from Fear to Fearlessness
I have to admit, turning 40 was NOT something I wanted to do, and to be honest, the fear of it hit me with the same force I would feel if I ran straight into a concrete wall. I had been dreading it for a few years prior and when it arrived, it brought along with it a whole lot of fear. SO.MUCH.FEAR!! I was afraid of so many things.
If you’re lucky like I am, you have a close friend whose 40th birthday happened right at the same time, and you can share all of your fears with them. For me, it’s my friend, Flor. Fortunately for me, she’s always been first when it came to life’s big events so I could always look to her to ease my fears by sharing her advice and wisdom. She had babies first, she nursed first, she took care of toddlers first, she went back to work from maternity leave first, she had school-aged kiddos first, you get the point. Having a close friend who, like Flor is always setting an example and is always willing to share her wisdom is something I hope every mom has. But 40, this time it was my turn to be the first. One more thing to fear!
We’d spent endless time talking about the fear of 40 together as it approached asking all the questions you’d expect; were we really happy, would we still be in a few years, were we good mothers, did we have the right careers, did we work too much to be good moms, would there ever be time for ourselves or a time when we’d look like our old selves, were these wrinkles permanent, do we really have THIS many gray hairs!?!. When you’ve been friends for 18 years you can think ALL the way back to when you would laugh about the distant future when you’d be as old as 40. And then, BAM, it’s here!
It sounds crazy, but within a few weeks, all that fear began to disappear, at first little by little about some small things and then as I moved forward through my 40th year and experiences bigger things, it went away altogether.
I remember asking Flor when it began happening, even though I’d been 40 for a whole 3 more months longer than she had. Was she feeling the same things? You see once you cross that 40 line, you start to become fearless. A fearless mom. A fearless partner. A fearless professional. A fearless friend. A fearless advocate. It washes over you and it’s a power that you haven’t felt for years, or maybe even ever. You’re at a point in your life when YOU become the priority again. Not in a selfish, millennial way, (sorry, not sorry on that one), but the priority in a strong, take-charge kind of way. You become 40 Fearless!
You stop giving a fuck about the crap that would have bogged you down for weeks or months, maybe even years back when you were in your 30s. Your whole focus shifts...Unhappy about what someone did or said, you talk to them about it and you bring it up instead of letting it eat away at you. Stressed about the load you’re carrying, you ask for help because you know it’s how things get done. Want to go for a drink, you make and keep that plan because a happy you is the you your family needs. Tired, you take a nap. Not fitting in with the moms around you, you find ones you do fit in with. Like that bag or top or shoes, the ones that may not be practical cardigans or sensible flats, you get them, because it’s your money too and you can only buy so much from Children’s Place and Gap Kids. Like certain foods, or sex positions, you make sure you insist on them, you do you. And it all makes sense because now you’re 40!
So my best advice to you as you approach your 40th birthday is to get ready because fearless you is one amazing woman and you’re going to love her. She’s experienced a lot that has helped to shape who she is, but now, she’s ready for what’s coming next and she’s going to be the one to help shape the next chapter.
Kerri Glanville is a mom of two boys and a teacher. Passionate about humanhood and a strong advocate of womanhood and motherhood, Kerri decided it was time for her to write and share her thoughts about these topics and start the conversation.
Kerri's blog/website is coming soon, we'll keep you posted for sure!