As I go through the regular domestic duties of the day – ya know the ones, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, vacuum, blah blah blah – I tend to let my mind wander. Love putting on some music to make it all bearable. So I tell Alexa to turn on my go to station, 80s on 8 on Sirius. After all, I am GenX. My mind starts to wander and I start thinking about my age and getting older and my attitude towards it all. And then I start wondering if I am doing everything a 46 year old is supposed to be doing. What is it exactly that I’m supposed to be doing?
When I was younger and thought of a 40 year old, I had this image of a prim and proper woman doing all of the things that I thought she should be doing. Of course my thoughts were a bit more freewheeling because I have always had an independent streak in me. I thought of a 40s woman working in the corporate world breaking glass ceilings, still being a PTA mom (because I wanted to be a mom), hosting those boring dinner parties and being ultra responsible. But all in a very prim and proper way.
I guess I do hit all of the points of the 40 year old woman I had in my head but in such a different way. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not “acting my age” or what but I definitely don’t fit the image I had in my head growing up. As a mom, I’m the engaged mom but in such a different way. I am not a conservative parent for sure. Definitely not pinned and tucked. Career? I started out in retail, then in my early 20s, went to corporate. Then got married and had my daughter at 30 (yep, did it all at once) and stayed home with her. Started my own business. Then divorced and reentered the corporate world. Now I’m starting my own business again which is a mix of corporate and being my own boss (stay tuned for that). My vision of the career path of that 40 year old woman is not what I imagined she would have taken. But here I am. Socially? I am not that party host with the most that has to have tons of people around. I kind of shy away from those gatherings that have that pretentious feeling. Pretentious. That is the word that sums up what I thought a 40 year old was. And it’s not me. Keeping up with the Joneses and all of that is not who I am.
My version of 40s is so different than what I envisioned in my youth. I would much rather wear a pair of jeans and a sassy worded tee than prim and proper clothing. Flip flops are a staple. Hair and makeup have their place but definitely a have to do than love to do. Playing Animal Crossing with my daughter in this quarantine has been a must and love doing it. Playing games in the pool and outside and acting like a kid is more my thing. Trips to Disney World have been a mainstay for my daughter and me. If I had to describe my 40+year old self, I’m a kid at heart who doesn’t color within the lines. I am kinda the anti-40 year old woman of the person I thought I was supposed to be according to my younger self. Still have the responsibilities and handle those but I guess I don’t let them rule me, if that makes sense? A great example of this for me is the thought of starting my own business. The older generation had always instilled in my generation to get a corporate job and work that until you retire. Security! That’s where it’s at! That’s what they used to live by. Life today is so different. More thinking outside of the box and taking chances. Coloring outside of the lines. And I feel kind of stuck between the two generations. One being live conservatively and the other being more entrepreneurial.
Age is just a number. It’s all about how old you feel. Body feels like a 90 year old (working on that though). Mind feels like a 25 year old. And so my conclusion after the meanderings of the morning was that I need to embrace my anti-40+ year old ways and lean in. That’s where the happiness is to be had.