I knew turning forty would be different, I just didn’t know how different it would be. In some ways it seems crazy that one should have such expectations in such a short period of time. I mean the day before your birthday you were enjoying the frolicking of that time frame and you were clinching on to 39 for dear life, then suddenly the moment hits when you know this is the day. The landmark day that you would have been on this earth four whole decades. In your thirties it seems permissible even in your late thirties to hold on to some of your immature ways and in some ways you still feel like you’re young and can do anything. That is until like Cinderella the clock strikes twelve and your sugar plum dreams turns into a plethora of questions and fear of the unknown. Experiencing forty was both scary and thrilling like getting on a brand new roller coaster that has seemingly unending twists and turns. You can’t wait to get on as you sit in the line, but then the closer you get to it, the more you begin to question, is this insane? What will happen if this thing isn’t sturdy, or has this thing been properly tested for security? I expected to feel different, more mature. But much to my amazement I felt the same way I did when I was 39, looked the same, and can do the same things I could do then. Nothing visibly changed but the number that corresponds with my age on this earth.
However, I will say almost three months now into this thing that there are some very pleasant surprises. Now, I wouldn’t advise you test this out unless you are married this particular observation is not for everyone, and kids may want to close their ears, but for those of you with less of an appeal for the upcoming years I will say that sex has never been better. Granted I did start pretty young but for the most part the experience has been hit and miss with a lot less home runs then I would desire to have. But forty it’s like your body awakens, at least it did for me. Which I suppose isn’t too surprising, usually the description of women and pleasure is typically delayed. At least from my girl talk encounters, and all that you read or see on television about the topic. However, like a brisket slow cooked and marinated to perfection intimacy takes on a whole new level of greatness at forty that it just never had before that age. I suppose that is a sign that even though we can’t calculate the changes physically that our bodies are undergoing by the number of years we have been here, our body does recognize that a change is taking place.
The importance of leaving your mark. In my twenties and thirties I was always hopeful that every request that I petitioned to the Father would be answered, and in favor of what I wanted. At age forty there are still some things on my list that I have not received an answer on, but rather than feeling depressed, the way I thought I would, my energy is more towards leaving a legacy. In my mind I always felt like a legacy was a tunnel vision sort of thing, that dictated that you would work your behind off to leave something to your children. But what if you have no children? I have found myself thinking more about what I want to leave behind and to whom I would want to leave it. I have begin to understand that not all children that you impact will be those who you have birthed, but they must be those who you have embraced. We have endless opportunities to love people and rarely take that opportunity before us. At forty you pay attention to those things. The stuff that your world was built around in your twenties and thirties and you had to acquire, have little value or significance to you. They in the whole scheme of things lose their appeal. Your perspective on life changes. At least this was my journey into forty. Don’t get me wrong I am still all over the place as it relates to my dreams, but my desire for things are not so much internal as they are external. Having a desire to make an impact on peoples lives and make a difference in the kingdom of God is paramount to me.
Learn how to live in the season you are in.
Finally, I am grateful above all else. While I realize death is a reality that we all must face and in our day it’s a reality that both young and old are subject to. I am most of all grateful to be forty. See while so many can only see their lives as half spent I see my life as I have been blessed with another day to make a difference for the kingdom of God. To pray someone into safety, to preach someone into the kingdom, to bless someone with nourishment, and to teach someone how to love their family and appreciate the value of what they have, which is right now. We have nothing else promised to us. I am so thankful for the breath I have right now that I am able to see forty. So often we get so caught up in the number that we forget that our life isn’t about us anyway. We are on a mission, and it is a privilege not a right that we are still here to complete it. Because there are so many who have died with their mission not complete, their purpose not fulfilled. At forty, every lesson I have been taught matters and it is more important to me for that to get out then even my own life. Too many of us at age 40 live in regret of what we didn’t accomplish before the age we are. We either wish we would have traveled more, spent more time with our kids, would have settled down to have a family instead of pursue a career, and the list goes on and on. We are so busy planning for the next season of our life that we never appreciate the one we are in. Yah is teaching me how to appreciate the season of life that I am in. Not to focus on the children I wanted but didn’t have, or the finances, or house, or business I wanted but didn’t get, or the places I wanted to travel but haven’t gotten there. At this point in my life all those things seem so much less important than knowing that I fulfilled my purpose. Because I could achieve all those things and miss the BIG picture. I am learning to appreciate that some of the things that I didn’t get was because it wasn’t apart of God’s plan for me, and the things I did get are pretty amazing when I think about it. Experiencing forty has taught me how to appreciate life for what it is, and not to spend the life I got being caught up in what it’s not.
Published by Torie McLaughlin