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Now that I am 40…..(A two year old post that I never quite finished!)

Now that I am 40…..(A two year old post that I never quite finished!)

posted on July 22, 2014 by nicole 11 Comments

NOTE: I wrote this over two years ago just after my 40th birthday.  I never finished or posted it until today.  I actually remember writing it in one sitting during a swim practice at Kendbrin, (our summer swim and tennis club). I’m not sure why I never posted it…but here it is.  It was a little scary how little has changed and these 8 things are still so very relevant in my life today.

From July 2012:

I hit the big milestone last month.  I suppose it’s just one of many and I was actually pretty excited about it.  Even after a co-worker continually reminded me no less than 5 times not to be upset about it and that it was really “ok to be distraught”.

There really isn’t much more I could want out of life.  Of course, I hope to stay healthy, and I hope the same for my family and friends.  After that, isn’t everything else just an extra bonus?  I have  a fuller, sweeter life than my child-hood dreams could have ever taken me.

But.

Turning 40 has allowed me to reflect on the past and consider the future of the kind of person I want to be.  Here is my own little “Now that I am 40″ list:

1. Don’t wait 3 days to call my Mom back.

I need to place her on the priority list.  As I am getting older, I am seeing how roles shift. When my kids are grown and have their own lives which is only a blink away, I hope that they will do the same.  Never before have I really considered this.  When my says…”Nik, I mis you, I haven’t spoken to you in DAYS!”, it takes on a different meaning when I am on the horizon of being the Mom trying to get in touch with the child.

2. Just say “Thank you”.

This is a tough one for me.  The tendency is to deflect a compliment with a quick comment of a negative tone.  I remember when Taylor was in Kindergarten, another Mom came up to me and said “Wow, your daughter is a fantatic reader!”. There were other parents around when this was said and I could feel my face flush with embarasment. Instead of simply saying “thank you”, I instead said, “oh, but you should see her writing, its atrocious!”  This knee jerk reaction of taking away the compliment robs the person who is making it.  A simple, “thank you” will be my new respononse!

 

3.  Yes, I am a runner.

The other day I was at the gym and the instructor asked me if I was a runner.  My heart always starts to quicken when someone asks me to define it that way.  I run.  But am I a runner?  I struggle with this.  Yes, I have run 3 marathons and countless halves and many other shorter races.  But I am S-L-O-W.  Slower than all my friends and the majority of other race participants.  I am a “back of the packer” as one would say.  So, when the instructor asked me if I was a runner, I came up with a long response about how I do run, but not fast and sometimes not consistently etc., etc…. I left there thinking about what an idiot I was… and that its “OK” to answer yes to that question.  I do put one foot in front of the other and albeit slow…I  do RUN!

 

4. I am going to speak up.

Sometimes in conversations, there are untruths told, embellishments, judgements made. I mostly listen, often pretend to agree and have a mini private chat with myself inside my own head about how unkind, not true or exaggerated that was. I often feel dirty about this. I am going to work on sharing my sometimes conflicting opinion or thoughts without caring if I will be judged myself.

 

5. Laugh more.

I am a pretty serious person.  When I am with people who are silly, funny, light hearted and crazy, it encourages me to be that way too.  I don’t laugh from the bottom of my gut very often, but when I do, I love it.  I feel free and alive.  I want to feel that way more often.

 

6. Say “yes” more.

To my kids I mean.  I have a plan of al the things I need to get done and my son wants to shoot hoops in the driveway with me.  Ummmm….doesn’t he see the sink full of dishes, the loads of unfolded laundry or the unmade lunches?  He might.  But he doesn’t really care.  I am realizing more and more that there is a day not too far in the future in which I will be WISHING for him to ask me to shoot hoops with him. Life is moving much too quickly for my liking and I want as few regrets as possible.  I am certain that if I don’t lighten up and use the word “yes” a little more often, it will be one of them.

 

7. Be more consistent.

I was very sad to read about Steven Covey’s death. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”  was one of the very first personal development books I ever read.  It takes 15 consistent actions in a row to develop a habit.  That means 15 days of going to the gym, 15 days of no sugar, 15  Sundays of going to church. Often, I have all the best intentions, but am my own worst enemy when it comes to taking action.  I am going to consider a small list of things I want to change or accomplish and then be consistent about staying on track.

8.

Ugh.

I don’t even want to type this. Its a huge fear of mine and I have avoided it at all cost. Here it is. I am very comfortable speaking in small groups, meeting new people, even giving a presentation around a conference room table.  But put me on a podium in front a group who is going to be staring up at me…I’d rather stick hot pins in my eyes repeatedly. This is something I need to conquer!

Final Note:

Looking back on this more than 2 years later, its amazing to see how little has changed…note to self….GET MOVING SISTER!!!

 

 

 

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11 Responses to “Now that I am 40…..(A two year old post that I never quite finished!)”

  1. Tracey Mahoney July 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m very proud of the 40 something that you are , and very proud to call you my friend! Thank you for these wonderful words that we all need to remember! It couldn’t have come at a better time! Thank you for posting! I love you and am blessed that you are in my life. Xo

    • nicole July 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks Trac! We both have lots to be proud of and look forward to! xo

  2. Audrey McClelland July 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Ahhh, Nik. I love this. You are and have always been, one of the most positive people I have ever met. You’re THAT person you want in your lifeboat. And I’m sure I’m not the only person to think that at ALL. You’re an amazing mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, etc. You always think of everyone… and you shine. I love #6… I need to take that advice more and more, too. Love you tons, Audrey

  3. nicole July 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Aud – right back at you!! You inspire me EVERYDAY with your hard work, never say never attitude and your complete and total unconditional love for your awesome kids. It’s me who looks up to YOU. But I so appreciate your words and I will gladly share any lifeboat with you!

  4. Stasia July 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Awesome list. I can identify with ALL of these. Thanks for posting!

    • nicole July 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Stasia – Thanks for your note – I am so glad you enjoyed the list! Hope to see you soon…:)

  5. Kristen July 22, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    Nicole,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I can relate to your list too. My husband thinks I’m nuts for not saying “no” more often but; I believe in living in the moment and doing everything we possibly can while we’re healthy and able to do so. Happy belated birthday. Maybe you can speak to my class one day and cross off number 8.
    Take care,
    Kristen

    • nicole July 23, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      Kristen –
      Now you know why when you asked me once before I declined! Oops…:) Thanks for your note…you are one of those mothers that I so envy – who are always present with their kids and have the gift of leaving the other non-important stuff behind for the time being. Thanks for your note and kind comment – who knows maybe I WILL speak to your class someday!

  6. Sharon - MomGenerations.com July 23, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Nicole… from the first moment I met you – the FIRST moment – I saw light and goodness and joy from that internal well-spring of your soul. Your external beauty, your smile, your quick response to help anyone in any situation shines from your heart. I “get” your list, believe me. I “get” how we know ourselves, perceive ourselves, from the inside. It’s amazing how sometimes those conversations are quelled, and sometimes those conversations come pouring out… like in your list. It’s amazing that if I were to describe you, I would talk about your LOVE of your children and are ALWAYS there for them, your easy laugh, quick smile, comfort and confidence in personal/business situations. I would say that you are a runner, a great role-model and mentor to me in my running. I would say that you love, adore, respect, admire your Mom to the moon and back and how she feels exactly the same about you. I would say that when I saw you that first moment so many years ago, I knew you would marry Keith (you know that story!!) and that you would become such a wonderful, loving, perfect part of this big old crazy-sometimes family. I would say that you EMBRACE each moment, each day, each opportunity and that while doing this, you NEVER EVER EVER lose sight of other people and their moments, their days, their opportunities and feel great happiness for them, too. I love your list. I really, really do. I just want you to see YOU from ME and how much I love, admire, respect and adore you, too. Thank you for being you and for giving us the two most beautiful gifts a woman can give – grandchildren – children who are blessed to call you “Mom”! xoxox I love you!

    • nicole July 23, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      Ok – Im not sure I deserve that amazing reply to my blog – but coming from you….a woman that is truly the very best in EVERY WAY – I will take it and read it over and over again!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for such amazing words!!!!!! xoxo

  7. Carla July 24, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    Nichole,
    I love you for writing this list! I am always learning from you, your one of my greatest teachers Thank you! So I hear this common theme in each and every goal…. I hear, Nic…live in the moment babe, don’t let moments pass you by, SAVOR IT and forget about that list, maybe lets not make that list today (or at least for 15 days in a row :-). Be that list includes non-truths/thoughts in your mind about how you view yourself/judgement, that physical list of To-Do’s or the list of the SHOULD’S. If I could pass my magic wand over your beautiful soul I would wish those lists off your plate an into the gustiest of winds to be blown far far away! You are my most humble, sweet, giving, caring friend I Know. You deserve to be be that right back to yourself!

    BE FEARLESS my friend, the time is NOW and this train is moving fast. YOU are special and a very important part of all the little moments the world can offer. I can’t imagine you know how much you impact those around you. You have a special way of making other feel good, important and special! You do this for me and I love you for it! Thank you for all our special moments!

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