Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash
As I type this I am about six months away from the big 4-0. Not gonna lie, I am not jazzed about this birthday. But, luckily, I have quite a few close friends who have already celebrated this milestone and have made it look a lot less daunting.
One thing I have learned over the past couple of years about this milestone birthday is that it is a time of reflection for most people. One of my dear friends has had a lot of medical issues in the past two years which led her to decide she’s not waiting on anyone else to fulfill her travel dreams. She has taken at least two solo trips to Europe since receiving her initial diagnosis and has many more in the works. If her husband can join her, great, but she’s not sitting on the sidelines anymore while she has an incredible job that allows telework and paid leave.
Another one of my friends started a brand new career in real estate. Rather than waiting a few more years until she had a teen who could drive himself, she opted to lean more on her husband and her close girlfriends. She makes it to all the games and practices she can, but with two kiddos on travel sports teams, she has to rely on carpooling when work demands take precedent. She has excelled in the past two years, not only because she works her tail off, but because she has an incredible support system to cheer her on.
One might call these changes a “mid-life crisis,” but as I told my other friend, I like to think of it as a revival. She recently confided in me that she’s decided this is her “Hot Girl Year.” What does that even mean? For her, it started with some serious career goals. She has risen to the top of her company, not just in the States, but to the top of her leaderboard for the entire company’s global sales. She is killing it, or as her 11 year old daughter says, “Mom, you’re a Baddie!”
Her new mentality hasn’t stopped at work, though. She’s vowed to get in shape, eat healthier, and reclaim her identity. “All I saw when I looked in the mirror, was a mom,” she told me the other night. She wanted to get back to that young woman she used to be. And she’s well on her way there. She’s having more girls’ nights out, focusing on bringing back the romance in her marriage, and just living life for her again. She’s prioritizing her own happiness, and I am totally here for it!
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
All of my friends’ experiences have made me wonder, “How many times do we make sacrifices and compromise who we are when we take on the mom and wife roles?”
As I stand on the edge of a new decade, I realize I too miss that young woman who had a lot of dreams and also had a lot more fun. I am still working out my perfect career path, but it’s definitely a work in progress, not a stalled plan these days. Maybe my fun looks different now that I have three little people and a husband waiting for me at home, but the fun needs to make a reappearance and fast. Not making time for the you, that you want to be, only leads to resentment.
If you are also about to hit a big birthday this year, maybe take a minute and look in the mirror. Do you see the best version of yourself? Do you see the you that you wish to be? If not, maybe it’s time for some Me Time.