I can NOT believe I just wrote that. I am turning 40 years old! In my mind I am not that far off from the 20 and 30 somethings in my life. I still think of myself in the same stage of life as those young’ins. Then that number quickly reminds me that I am in fact at a completely different stage in life.
Perhaps it’s because I started my family a little later or changed career paths. I just don’t “feel” any older when turning 40 than I felt when I turned 30. In fact, I remember my 30th birthday. I was at a crossroads in my personal life and was planning on just hanging out at home, until a good friend of mine insisted that we go out to dinner (thanks, Ang!). She took me about an hour away to BJ’s Brewhouse in Columbus. Now, here I am living in Columbus and staying in to celebrate. Granted, there is a pandemic and all, but regardless, I would probably just eat a meal with my little family anyway. We’re just getting DoorDash to bring it this year!
So how is turning 40 different from 30? The biggest difference is my family. I am married to an amazing man who makes sure my car is safe, delivers flowers to me, puts others first, cooks amazing meals, helps around the house, works hard, and is a very involved father. Then, there are these two boys that we brought into this world. They keep me very busy and constantly challenge me as a person. Their personalities are vastly different from each other, so as parents we have to be very flexible and consistent with how we structure their little lives.
So, what’s different when you turn 40? I have a few more wrinkles and grey hairs. My body has changed since having children, but they are worth it! I have gained a few extra pounds and it’s much harder to keep off weight when I lose it. So, yes there are some tough things to face when turning 40. But, let’s not forget all the good that comes with another decade under my belt.
I have learned how to say no for the benefit of my health and family. That was a really hard lesson for me. I am a people pleaser by nature, but getting older has made me braver, stronger, and given me a clearer perspective. I cannot take care of my family if I am running ragged trying to please everyone else.
With age I have also opened up my worldview. Somewhere in my mid-30’s I started questioning everything I ever believed. Why? Well, becuase I hadn’t every thought for myself. I just lived with everything I was told by those I looked up to. This isn’t bad. Those who cared about me set me up wtih a great foundation. Some of my beliefs just needed confirmed and others changed. I have learned to listen and not be so quick to judge. I have learned there are two sides to every story and most people have good intentions behind their political beliefs.
For so long I wanted to be a mom. Remember that crossroads at age 30 I mentioned? The longing to be a mom was strong on that birthday. I was starting to feel like I would never get the chance. Man, if I could just go back and tell myself that everything would work out! I guess that’s the difference. Time gives you perspective and hindsight. Turning 40 isn’t so bad!
Learn more about me and my business at Stacey Ash Photography.