Adulting: Stepping into 40 (Part 2)...
I texted a friend of mine to learn details about life in her 40s. I wanted to know what she was experiencing in this new decade I am currently facing. She graciously responded:
Hmmm, what comes to mind now is allowing and accepting your body to be less physically capable.
Well, that advice resonated with me, loud and clear. I had already been feeling my body’s limitations at 39. I am sore so often, and I’m finding I can’t sleep in my comfortable curled-up-cat position anymore. My arms and legs fall asleep and (ironically) wake me up.
I wanted her to elaborate, so I pressed her for more details (thank you friend, for putting up with me!).
She shared further:
So, we often take our physical capabilities for granted when we are younger and more fit, then we start realizing that with age (and kids in my case) our bodies get less capable. If you prepare yourself and embrace the new reality, you won’t be shocked when you hit that stage, and you won’t hate your body and yourself for it.
Her words were like a hug to my soul. “Prepare yourself.” “Embrace the new reality.”
My friend might not have realized it, but she was reminding me to accept my imperfections and at the same time inviting me to take care of myself. How wise. Instead of groaning about aches and pains and capabilities that have been lost, I should focus on being my own friend. On being careful with myself.
Realizing my limitations can help me slow down, which I desperately need to do:
Just be gentle to your body and yourself. Basically, embrace the new reality without hating yourself and getting down about it.
I carry her words with me into my next decade. But I share them with you too, because I think they are relevant for us all. No matter our age, we will be facing new realities: they are intricately woven into the fabric that is life. And these can feel intimidating, harsh even.
May we always respond by being gentle with ourselves.