Finding Kindness at 40

Day 90: Finding Kindness at 40

“Being in your forties – any woman who isn’t there yet, I just have to say to you: Euphoria is coming to you.” – Tori Amos

I have to admit, turning 40 has been much more difficult than I ever imagined. I’ve spent most of my life thinking I was not attached to age, in fact, quite often I would have to ask my husband or daughter how old I was. In some ways I wasn’t attached, but there is nothing like approaching the middle of your life to get you evaluating things. Facing all of the great expectations and the should have, would have and could haves. Oh they are torturous thoughts that create pain, anger, fear, loss and grief. This is 40. I have arrived. In some ways it is completely fine, I feel the same as yesterday, and when I can stay present and reflect on the gifts, abundance, love, and the accomplishments, I am proud and tears of joy surface and my heart feels full. It’s when the critic comes along and speaks so harshly, that I crumble and feel sad, unworthy, and unaccomplished.

My transition from 39 to 40 has not been graceful, it has been full of difficult challenges and decisions, and has left me feeling as though I’m swimming against the tide. Maybe, because I have been fighting letting go of an image, a story I once told myself. The fairy tale that said I would have no wrinkles, the big house with the swimming pool, the great love and partnership, the 2.3 children, the white picket fence, the amazing career, the whole kit and kaboodal. I have achieved part of the fairy tale, but not in the perfect manner that I imagined. Life is messy, can be painful, difficult and ugly at times, but it can also be beautiful, joyous and full of abundance and treasures, if I choose to see it that way.

Here I am, 40, and I can choose to hold onto my old story, the what ifs, the image, and fight what is; or let go, grieve if I need to, embrace where I am, find the treasures, find the gratitude for the abundance and gifts that I do have, even if they don’t match the story exactly. Ultimately, I can choose to fight against the tide of my life or let go, be kind and gentle, and enjoy where I am right now, and that is 40 with an imperfect life and an imperfect story.

Please be kind, gentle and forgiving of where you are, because we are perfect just as we are. Put that critic in a secure container and lock it away, and then imagine all of the possibilities there are when there is no judgment.

With Kindness and Love,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/Nate Brelsford

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