Well friends, here we are. The weeks after my fortieth birthday. Here’s what I have learned by being alive and growing all these years.
1. By the time you are 40 you should have figured out what kind of party you like having for your birthday. A few weeks ago I had my new home blessed by good friends and I hosted my favourite activity. A private class of The Class by Taryn Toomey taught by Turf instructor Ange Hartman in my basement, filled with candlelight and really good music. Food catered by Turf. It was magical. It was 40.
2.Carefully Select Your Circle of Friends. Your life should only include friends who support and love you and vice versa. Is there any more to say on this topic?
3. Choose Uncomfortable. Your relationship. Big one. One the eve of my fortieth birthday Mark and I talked to 2am about really uncomfortable and hard stuff. Would I rather talk about shit that doesn’t matter? Maybe…ok fine, No. I actually want to get through this stuff so we can move on to a deeper place. I choose uncomfortable because after the tough talks are done… it’s like we can breathe and go back to being in love.
4. Consistency in Health and Fitness. Do I always want to get up early and go exercise? No. Do I do it and feel better? Every time. I know that consistency makes us achieve our goals. I know that following through with a commitment helps us change. I know this because it has happened for me. My goal is to be healthy and fit for my entire life. Even in the rain.
5. Dare to Adventure. And then put it in your calendar. Just book it. Don’t worry about it. Just book the trip you always wanted to go on and I guarantee you will be over your fear by the time you get there. Don’t settle for average vacations with your precious time. Go big, go explore and try not to take so many shoes (particularly hard for me).
6. Surrender. My life took an amazing turn when I was 27. Before that it was not looking good for me. I chose to accept the help that I needed and the help was surrendering my limited notions of myself to something greater, something spiritual and not at all religious. Since then the power of the universe has been making things turn out far better than I could have imagined for myself. Get into the flow my friends and I guarantee you will walk easier on this earth.
7. Work is Not Everything. I spent my entire thirties hustling. Going through a divorce, being a single mom, starting a big career, living in constant fear that I was never doing enough. I am ready to close that chapter and start fresh. This past year I have been not so great about answering emails on time, I leave early to pick up Stella from school, I come in late because I have had an appointment with my Chinese doctor (who constantly reminds me about my level of stress), and sometimes I even sit down and eat lunch. Does my income suffer? Yes. Do I feel like a better person? Yes. Sometimes it’s worth it to be less perfect.
8. Eat Clean. This has been huge for me as I enter my forties. Cutting out all the foods that don’t serve me. It is not about loosing weight (although that is a nice side-effect) it is about fueling your body for energy. Stress has been giving me massive warning signs in my gut. These are not healed by lovely vacations and then back to the grind, these aliments are my body trying to talk to me. I used to starve myself all day because I was “too busy” to eat and then eat a fairly healthy BIG dinner. Not so good to do this FYI. With the help of my friend Simone’s program I have gained the knowledge of what works for my body. More plants, less sugar and that’s just the start.
9. Your Clothing Says A lot About You. My clothing says that I care. Does that mean that I am one-dimensional or shallow? Absolutely not. Not only is looking good, good for my business, but it makes me feel great when I look put-together. I choose clothing that fits my body, colours that work for my skin and hair and that represent what I want to say in this world. I want to say: that I put in some effort to meet you today, that I want to inspire you creatively and that I love good fabric and design. Effort is attractive.
10. Love Hard. Something that I have learned in my life is that there are moments of deep, profound joy and bliss and then they are gone. There are moments of boredom, pain, sadness, indifference, curiosity and they too pass. Even on a beautiful vacation we can feel disconnected and sad. At first this seemed baffling to me, how could I be sad on this beautiful beach with my family? These feelings are like the tide they ebb and flow, best to let them come in and go out again. Love is the greatest feeling but often we appreciate the feeling only because we know how much it took to get there. Life ain’t easy, but fully committing to love at all costs reaps big rewards.
11. Motherhood. So much in that big word. I don’t have any advice on the subject only that I have done with Stella what I have naturally been inclined to WANT to do. I want to be like her, hang out with her, find out what she is thinking, spend time close to her skin, hold her hand at every opportunity, care for her, read my favourite books to her, play and swim with her, surround her with people that love her too, give her experiences that light up her face and make her laugh, make it ok for her to be herself, make my body a safe place for her to find comfort. Is that parenting? I don’t know. I don’t want to over-think it that’s for sure. It’s too good to ruin with thoughts of right or wrong. Mostly I work on myself so that I can remember that I like all this parenting stuff, cause when I get too busy I forget.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate you following me in this journey.