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I’m 40 today – now what?

Written by: | Published: April 14, 2012 | Updated: February 10, 2021

As of today, I’ve been on the earth for 40 whole years. I remember in my 20’s I thought 40 was so far away and a funny old people thing. Saggy bellies, minivans and suburban mom clothes. Really. You get to buy the black party supplies and joke about being over the hill. Now I think the hill has moved to somewhere around 60, bellies aren’t quite saggy, I have no minivan… suburban mom clothes are in the laundry, but they’re comfy darnit!

Thinking back, I don’t recall having a vision of where I would be by now. I remember 40 being so far away and now I’m so glad 20 is so long ago. Life has changed so much since my 30th, I have no idea if I’m on the path I intended or not. I love the path I’m on right now and I love the changes. I expected I would be doing “something” and now I think I am doing a lot of somethings… finally finding a focus. The past year I’ve been really trying to make sure I stay focused. I’ve gotten distracted on so many little tangents that I got stuck wondering where I was. I’ve now combined all those new found funs and have turned it into something I can grow.

40th birthday cupcake and success

A couple days ago a friend of mine shared this post about finding success. She asked if it was inspiring or dreamsquashing so of course I stopped to read. Initially it seems as though dreams will be shattered all over the place. I guess I was in a great mood when I read it because the squashing lasted about 30 seconds and then this reply came spewing out on to the keyboard:

“It’s uplifting. I think its empowering to be able to go toward a goal with a reality check and strong understanding of what is possible and what obstacles might come along so they can be planned for an overcome.

I’m not one to see a potential downfall and decide its not worth it – it becomes a challenge to prove to myself i can make something of it. it used to be that id take the challange and prove i could do it – as ive gotten older, i’ve realized i cant always do it, sometimes i fail miserably and sometimes i just fail but i usually gain something from it that will help me succeed later…”

I had literally been sitting here wondering if I had any useful tid-bits to share on my 40th birthday and the above message just popped out of my head like I had been thinking about it all along… but someone forgot to tell me. Such an eye opening moment for me. Sometimes I think I get so stuck on where I am or where I’m going I forget to see I am going. I’m moving along and I’m doing a darn great job at it! I just forget to give myself the credit or recognition and more often then not I base my success on the reactions or appreciation from others.

Success isn’t measured by what others think. 

Success is measured by what your goals are and if you feel you’ve reached them. I have 3 beautiful, brilliant children. I have a loving husband that stand by me no matter what. I have a job I created from the ground up and I still wake up wondering what I’m going to discover today. I say that’s pretty damn good on the success meter.

I’m 40 today, so now what? I don’t know. I think I’ll start by having cake for breakfast.

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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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3 thoughts on “I’m 40 today – now what?”

  1. Thank you both so much! I can honestly say that much of where I am right now is because of the people around me. I think it’s so much easier to see yourself accomplishing or doing great things when there are great people around you. Thanks bunches!

  2. Happy birthday Jen! If ever there was someone who doesn’t look, act or think like they’re over the hill and forty, it’s you. Enjoy your cake!

  3. Happy Birthday, Jen! And thanks for an inspiring post! I turned 40 last February, but I know in many ways I am still 20-something at heart, I’m only 40 in experience. My dreams haven’t changed that much – I haven’t changed that much – I’ve just learned and grown wiser in how to achieve those dreams.

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