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End of an era

This, my friends, is the end of an era. The year 2022 marks the last full year of me being in my forties. In 2023, I will officially turn fifty and I’ve been preparing for it.

I’m optimistic about living my best life in my fifties. Sometimes, you need to evaluate the past to put yourself on the path to a better future. For work, at the close of some projects, we facilitate a “lessons learned” debriefing to discuss the activities of the project such as what worked and what didn’t work.

Similarly, I’ve been reflecting on my forties, and based on light lessons I’ve learned, there were thoughts, actions, beliefs, etc., that served me well during that time and some that did not. I’ve been facilitating a personal debriefing in order to set myself up for a healthy and prosperous decade in my fifties.

My current forty nine year old self has thought about some nuggets of wisdom I’d tell my forty year old self if I could go back in time. They are in no particular order, though I think the first one set the tone for my thirties and early forties. See if you can relate to any of these.

  1. You’ve proved you can accomplish things many people could not. You don’t need to prove you are worthy. God made you worthy. In fact, you don’t need to prove anything else to anyone.
  2. You are great. Own it.
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Practice self-compassion daily.
  4. You were right about certain people and situations. Don’t feel bad for your accurate perception.
  5. You’re a good parent. You’re a positive example for your kids.Your kids are kind and good people. They are resilient. They have aspirations of their own for a better life.
  6. Your kids will be going through different phases, so your parenting style will need to adjust accordingly. Though it can be frustrating, painful, and sad for you sometimes, you will experience the joy of watching their unique characteristics unfold.
  7. Don’t work to the point of becoming numb because then you won’t have much left for yourself and family.
  8. You’re going to have major health challenges, and the exercising and eating you are doing right now will serve you well for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
  9. Your mummy will pass away soon, and you will keep her close by exemplifying the positive things she taught you, sharing with others, and passing them on to your kids.
  10. Grieving is not just for loved ones who are deceased, but you will also grieve some relationships, phases of your marriage, phases of your kids’ development, and things that no longer serve you.
  11. Life will get harder at certain points, but you are resilient. You will get through it.
  12. Get a handle on your spending so you can save more for the future and have more money for fun experiences.
  13. Don’t be so agreeable.
  14. Pay attention and care for the people who do so for you. Don’t be consumed about the few people who don’t show up for you consistently or at all.
  15. Instead of asking God to “use you” and subsequently burn yourself out, ask God to place you in healthy environments where you can grow and make positive impacts.
  16. Being a workaholic is toxic.
  17. Travel more, locally and beyond.
  18. You will travel a lot in Texas, meet many people, and learn more about Texas than you know about your home state of Illinois.
  19. Despite political affiliation, people are people.
  20. Stay ready because opportunities are coming.
  21. You have more control than you think.
  22. Speak up more on things that are unacceptable.
  23. Sometimes, people don’t understand you, and that doesn’t make you wrong.
  24. Seek a therapist sooner rather than later.
  25. You are beautiful inside and out. You always have been, and you will continue to be.

For the milestone years like forty and fifty, I notice many women on social media want to show they are their sexiest and most beautiful selves. I may have subscribed to that a bit when I approached forty, but I have different plans for my fifties, not to throw shade on anyone.

In my fifties, I plan to continue evolving into the best version of myself spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I want to be an all-around better human. It’s true – the older and wiser you get, the less you care about what others think, and you get more comfortable in your own skin. I want more of this too.

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