What Every 40 Year Old Needs to Know: "It's Not Too Late"

What Every 40 Year Old Needs to Know: "It's Not Too Late"

One of the biggest challenges of approaching our 40s is being confronted with societal expectations and timelines. There is a pervasive belief that certain milestones must be achieved by a certain age whether it is finding love and settling down, starting a family, or achieving career goals. Pursuing our dreams has become tainted by unrealistic expectations based on social clocks that do not align with other societal trends like the fact that we are living longer, starting families later, and pursuing higher education at record numbers to name a few.  

But what if we challenged these notions and instead embraced the idea that it's never too late to create the life we desire?

40rty Calling was born out of the desire to share messages with women, particularly those ages 35-49, that counter the “it’s too late” narrative with one that redefines what it means to be forty and thriving. This is important in mitigating the deleterious effects that unnecessary pressure to achieve life milestones by a certain age has.

The Mental Health Impact of Societal Pressure

With the rates of depression, anxiety, burnout, and other mental health concerns rising, it is crucial to promote alternative ways of approaching and thinking about aging. The idea that there is a set time for everything can be incredibly damaging. The pressure to achieve certain life milestones by a specific age can lead to feelings of inadequacy, stress, and overwhelm. According to the American Psychological Association, “Chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.” This societal pressure often exacerbates mental health issues, creating unnecessary pressure and emotional distress and leaving many women feeling stuck and unfulfilled.

One key area we can target is our belief systems. By shifting our mindset and challenging these age-related expectations, we can alleviate some of the mental strain and embrace a more positive, compassionate approach to aging. It's important to recognize that personal growth and achievement are not confined to a timeline and that every individual's journey is unique and valuable.

Challenging Beliefs About Midlife

Forty, a marker of midlife or middle age, appears to be a significant point of reflection for many women. Commonly referred to as the "midlife crisis," this period is often characterized by a reevaluation of life's goals and achievements. However, the concept of a midlife crisis is largely based on outdated stereotypes and negative connotations.

However, midlife can be a time of incredible growth and transformation. In fact, many women are redefining what midlife looks like, proving that it's a period of opportunity rather than crisis. According to Psychology Today, understanding and challenging these myths can help women embrace this stage of life with confidence and a renewed sense of purpose. It can be a chance to reassess priorities, pursue new passions, and redefine what success and happiness mean on your own terms. By challenging the myths surrounding midlife, we can create a more empowering narrative that celebrates the wisdom, experience, and potential of women in their 40s and beyond.

‘It's Not Too Late

If there is one thing every woman facing midlife should know, it is this: 'It's Not Too Late!' Here are just a few of the many possibilities and real-life examples that show that our dreams have no bounds. It is not too late for women over 40 to…

  • Find Your Soulmate. Whether it's rekindling an old flame or meeting someone new, love can blossom at any age.
  • Get Married or Remarry. Many women find meaningful, fulfilling marriages or partnerships in their 40s and beyond.
  • Have a Baby or Grow Your Family. Many women are choosing to have children later in life. Changes in societal norms and our healthcare system, advances in reproductive technology, and adoption options make it possible to start or expand a family later in life.

  • Change Careers or Start a Business. It's never too late to pursue a new professional path, whether through further education, training, or entrepreneurship. Many successful entrepreneurs start their ventures later in life, bringing a wealth of experience and perspective to their endeavors.

  • Travel the World. With more financial stability and flexibility, your 40s can be the perfect time to explore new destinations and cultures.
  • Move Abroad. Many women are embracing the possibility of living and working in a new country, immersing themselves in a different cultures and gaining new experiences.
  • Go Back to School. Pursuing further education can open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Write a Book or Get the Deal. Sharing your story, insights, or expertise by writing a book can contribute to your legacy and inspire others.
  • Join a Sorority or Community Group. Building connections and finding support through social and community groups can enrich your life and expand your network.
  • Pursue Your Dreams. Whether it's a long-held passion or a newfound interest, dedicating time to your dreams can bring fulfillment and joy.

  • Rediscover Joy. Taking the time to explore what brings you happiness and make it a priority in your life can create joy and improve your quality of life.
  • Blaze Your Own Trail. When the world tries to limit who you are and what you can do, highlighting your unique gifts by creating your own path and breaking your own glass ceiling is an option many are considering.
  • Create Beauty, Legacy, and Wealth. Using your skills and experience to create something meaningful, whether it's art, a family legacy, or financial stability can help you feel more fulfilled.

The truth us, there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for success. Your forties are a time of incredible potential and possibility. By embracing change and challenging societal expectations, you can create a life that reflects your true desires and aspirations. Remember, it's never too late to pursue your dreams, find happiness, and live life on your own terms.

Tune in to the 40rty Calling Podcast to be inspired by the stories of remarkable women who are rewriting the narrative of what it means to be forty and thriving. With each episode we are shattering misconceptions about age and aging and celebrating the power of resilience, reinvention, and the limitless possibilities of life after 40.

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