It’s true: I’m knocking on the big 4-0’s door. I love that I still get carded when I walk into a bar and I have excellent skincare to thank for that, but aside from looking younger than all 37 of my years, I feel 28 and have the sense of humor of a college student. Poop jokes are still funny, I’m a sucker for cute hamster pictures (don’t believe me? I feature one per week on my Facebook Community Page) and I’m a self-professed Snuggle Whore. I think sock monkeys are so inherently ridiculous I can’t imagine a life without them and have developed a strange addiction to crystallized ginger and now buy it in bulk.
So what’s so funny?
I had lunch a few weeks ago with someone for whom I once cared for very much. After recounting the tale of a startup gone [boom] and finding myself with my own shingle hung out once again, the discomfort on his face was measurable with each twist and turn the story of my mid-thirties has taken. A forgiving landlord (thank all that’s holy), a tireless work ethic and goddamn hard work all brought me to where I am today where I can delightfully say that W2s are a thing of my past and I love 1099s so much I want to make a blanket out of them. Some people aren’t made to work without a net.
I never thought I’d be the kind of person to work without a net. But I am.
Screw the net.
At the end of last year, I ran down my decade in review. A delightful journey that was even more brilliant in retrospect. This year, I find myself in a strange situation as I stare my 40s in the face. They’re not as scary as they make themselves out to be.
- Love: It can come at any age and there’s no limit, right time or “supposed to’s.” It just is. It takes the shape of passions, people, places and experiences. Who’s to say you can’t find what lights your fire long after your teens and 20s? In the past 12 months, I’ve fallen in love with so many things that it seems as if my prior 36 years were just practice and now I can finally start living with purpose. How beautiful is that?
- Energy: It’s not just about slamming back a Venti mochafrappalatta-skim each morning to get you through the first meeting – it’s what you put OUT there. I’ve built a career based on honesty and colorful language. Some people hate me, and I say GOOD! Love me, hate me, just don’t be indifferent. Indifference is stagnant energy, like a dead bird floating in a pool in one of those Utah canyons. It just sits there. When you put out energy and live your life with momentum, people can’t help but get on board for the ride. F-bombs and calling out asshattery each week – that’s ME and it’s a great place to be at in life where your ME pushes you forward each an every day. And it’s a pretty cool feeling to know something you do or say pushes others forward. Wow.
- Shoulda: I can look back at my life and, when in the midst of something I’ve come to love in my 30-something, think “I should have started this sooner…” I now know I shouldn’t have. That I started doing it at exactly the right time and I’m exactly where I need to be. There are no “shouldas.” We do what we do. While I’d like to stab everyone on Twitter who fills their stream with quotes day in and out, there’s one I live by: ““We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” (Jim Rohn) We make our choices, we accept the related consequences. Owning the decision process eliminates the “shouldas.” Ownership is dandy. Have you tried it?
And here I sit, on a sunny Denver morning, well on the road to 38 with 40 peeking at me like a Kilroy Was Here drawing from WWII. I have no regret. I’m in love. My career is…well, fucking brilliant. Small Dog sleeps by my feet while Big Dog hunts endlessly in the backyard for birds and squirrels. I get to do what I love for clients I adore and live my days knowing the love I put out there comes back to me in spades. So I’m not so afraid of 4-0. It’s not so big. I think I’ll celebrate 39 and 41 with a lot more fervor. And it’s funny – I never imagined I’d be 38. We never think about “OMG – I’m going to be 38 one day!” But here’s why I’m glad I’m 38:
- I never went to law school.
- I never had children in my 20s.
- I’ve still never taken that bike tour through Ireland.
- I still don’t like squid.
- I love riding my bicycles and am a gear whore to the Nth degree.
- I don’t mind the middle seat on airplanes.
- I don’t need to put on makeup everyday (though I usually do).
- I understand the difference between love and lust.
- I see business in terms of relationships, not money.
- I think my parents would be proud of the gal I’ve come to be.
That’s what’s funny. All of those things put together. What’s your list? Mine is uproariously hilarious…to me, at least. And that’s what matters.
This is the first Redheaded Fury blog I’ve posted since January, so welcome. They’ll be a regular occurrence each Wednesday. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, you’ll find my standard unpopular thoughts and blunt advice here on RedheadWriting.com and Thursdays are reserved for my Dear Redhead Op-Ed over at ToyWithme.com.