Finding Myself in My 40s


finding myselfI turn 42 this month. 42. How can I be 42?

It seems like just yesterday when I thought turning 40 would mean I was “old”. In my teens and twenties it seemed to me my life would be on the verge of ending once I hit those digits. As my next birthday approaches, I have had some time to do some reflection.

How I’m Finding Myself

In an effort to feel gratitude during a season that has been particularly challenging, I turned my focus to what is working. These reflections lead me to some realizations about why I think I am finding myself and just beginning what will be my best decade yet.

I am giving myself grace.

I am a recovering perfectionist.

I spent the first 40 years of my life working to ensure that everything happened the way it was supposed to. At least the way I thought it was supposed to happen. Now I can admit these two things. There are days where I fail spectacularly at some component of my life, and mistakes are only temporary.

In my 20s and 30s I would spend days beating myself up about perceived failures. Even dwelling on them months later. I feel like I am finally starting to give myself the grace I so willingly encourage others to give themselves.

Life is hard. Being a mom, partner, employee, boss, or any of the other myriad roles we may have is hard. We are going to make mistakes, some big, some small. That is all part of being human. I have more patience with myself than I had before. In finding myself, I am starting to believe I am a perfectly imperfect work in progress.

I am getting better at accepting myself.

Probably in part because I’m working on giving myself grace, I also find that I’m becoming more accepting of who I am. I used to think if I could wave a magic wand and change some things about myself that I would be happier. As I navigate through life I am starting to believe these things about me help make me who I am.

Am I straightforward, sometimes to a fault? Sure.

Do I have an obnoxiously loud laugh? I do.

But I am beginning to believe I can’t control how others perceive me. I can only control the things I say or do and how I treat others. While some may perceive my straightforwardness as being cold or uncaring, I know that is just how I communicate. People who know me understand my true intentions. As for my laugh, that is one of many things I inherited from my father that now I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I, unapologetically, take time for me.

For so many years this was my life: Wake up, get child ready, take child to daycare/school, go to work, pick up child, make dinner, spend time with child and spouse, put child to bed, fall into bed as an exhausted heap. Who can relate?

I was burning the candle at both ends to make sure everyone else’s bucket was filled while mine was slowly leaking. I was losing my sense of who I was. At the very same time, the thought of leaving my family for 10 seconds to do something I enjoyed seemed like the selfish act of a monster. Now that my daughter is older, she has her own interests and interactions with friends to keep her occupied so it has become easier for me to spend time doing things that fill my bucket. I can get lost in a book, binge watch a favorite show, or do something creative and know my family will be OK. 

As I reflect on these things, I understand they have little to do with the fact I am in my 40s. More elevated women may have gifted themselves these things decades before I did. That being said, I am proud of myself for the progress I have made in finding myself in the last two years. I may not love everything that comes my way during my 40s, but I am going to work my hardest to continue being the best version of myself that I can be.

I would love to hear the reasons why you love being in your 40s or whatever decade you are in right now! 


  1. You are awesome my friend! I am happy to be in my 40’s, because I am looking forward to time for ME. I have done nothing but raise my kids, whom I love, but lost a lot of myself. An addition to being a single parent of 3, one on the Autism spectrum, working, and going back to college, it is TOUGH! I feel in the years ahead, I will discover ME again, and try to continue to grow and learn everyday. I am hoping to fall in love, and enjoy all the simple, little things around me that I always seem to busy to notice.

    • Oh lady! You are a rockstar!!! It is so hard. I am so proud of you for going back to school especially since your kids are still needing so much from you. It will all be worth it. Plus, you are showing your kids that hard work pays off!


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