Episode 32: So...I Turned 40! Here's 4 Thoughts
Oh my goodness! Happy New Year (its not too late to say that right?)! I hope you're enjoying your 2018 thus far. As for me, I've been all over the place (literally and figuratively). A special date has come and gone already: January 12, 2018 also known as my 40th birthday and the 1 year anniversary of View 112! I'll tell you what I've been up to, how I celebrated, and what's next for me here on the View 112 Podcast.
Today is Friday January 26, 2018. January (my favorite month of the year) has flown by. Because I have amazing friends, readers, and listeners, I've been asked quite a bit where I've been, especially at the start of the year. Well there I was happily hustling along through the holidays (which were glorious by the way) and then BAM on New Year's Eve night, I come down with the flu. That's right I rang in 2018 in the bed WAY under the covers watching Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen on CNN. Friends, I was out of commission for the next 9 days. The first day I felt better, I had a hair appointment for my much anticipated birthday vacation in Mexico! Shout out to my sister for booking my hair appointment for me as I also had laryngitis for 4 days. Before I get into my 40th birthday fiesta, you should all know one of the first things that crossed my mind was the fact that I would not be able to reasonably record 9 podcasts to reach Episode 40 before my birthday. While I was disappointed, it was only a tad. Its funny how life works, but more about that later.
My birthday in Mexico was fantastic! 10 ladies (family and friends) got that passport stamped and joined me in celebrating 4 decades of life! While the weather was not perfect everyday, on January 12th, the weather was an incredible 82 degrees and sunny! Everything was great including the amazing dinner and wine tasting my sister organized my birthday night. My personal little highlight was the 30 mins I had alone in the pool reflecting on the amazing feeling of turning 40 and celebrating on my terms. Ringing in 2018 and turning 40 has given me some perspective that I'd like to share. Here are 4 thoughts:
- Never Underestimate Moments of Reflection. There is nothing like the flu to slow you down. I cannot recall a year in my adult life in which the clock stuck 12 midnight on a new year and I wasn’t ready to tackle it with goals and plans. I sprinted all 2017 and this podcast was the only time I took moments to slow down and reflect on anything. Even during those moments, I felt all over the place. Kicking off the year laid out in bed and unable to do anything (even to read or talk for a few days) forced me to reevaluate my priorities and reflect on the last decade of my life. Fast forward to a week later, floating in the pool while being kissed by the sun, I was filled with such gratitude and pride of all I’ve gone through in 40 years. I could think of setbacks that seemed like the end of the world, that were actually almost forgettable moments in time. It’s because of the last 25 days of my life in which I’ve been forced to chill, that I’ve been able to come up with more focus and more determination to move forward. The same goes for our careers and business. Among my peers at work, its known that I do not like recaps….and we do them a lot. Every major event or meeting there is sometime to recap and reflect and I hated it. Simply because I’ve already moved on to what’s next. I can see now how I should appreciate reflecting a little bit more. Celebrating wins and noting pitfalls also gives you the clarity and focus to move forward with more intention and to be more efficient.
- The Curve Balls Will Come. Growing up in church, I used to listen to people give testimonies sharing how God brought them out of some situation. Growing up care free in a loving, sheltered home with amazing parents, it was not lost on me that I did not have any real problems in life. Life was great for me. I grew up with limited adversity. But one thing that used to always stand out to me when I’d hear it. Preachers used to say “If you think you don’t have any problems, you just keep on living”. Man, please find the lie! At the beautiful age of 40, I can write a book of testimonies. I can’t take any credit for my God-given ability to bounce back from circumstances that would have paralyzed others. Since I’ve been fortunate to “keep on living” I’ve been knocked on my butt several times. One thing I know is, its okay to get knocked down. It’s ok to sit, or even lay there for a moment, but at some point its time to get up. Over the years, I’ve ranged from popping up to slowly grabbing on the rail and pulling myself up, or I’ve gotten up with the helping hand of family and friends. Sometimes the bounce back is 1 day, other times the comeback is a couple of years. I’ve found the key in that is the perspective I have when the curve ball comes. The time to bounce back takes much longer, the longer I wallow in the problem. The woeful attitude, or the longer I allow guilt, shame, or embarrassment set in, the longer it takes to bounce back. No one can help you and you can’t even help yourself get though situations with that negativity at the center. The other piece is acknowledging what you’re going though. I’ve made the mistake of being in denial about disappointing moments in my life, just wanting them to go away and that doesn’t work either. Acknowledge it and be real with yourself about it so you can get the support and solutions you need to move on. At work now and even on this podcast, I am quick to be transparent about when I am struggling with something or to share when something is not my strong suit. I say “That’s not my ministry.” I did that with things as simple as math class last year up to much larger impacts on my life and career as well.
- Take YOUR Time. I can do a whole podcast on this topic. Sure, we’ve all heard comparison is the thief of joy and that’s true. Another joy stealer is self imposed expectations of milestone moments in time. By 30, we are supposed to have “this” at 40, we should have accomplished “that”…as if setbacks and curve balls never happen. I think back when I was 20, I’m sure I thought at 40, I would have multiple degrees, an amazing husband with 2 kids, a sprawling mansion, etc-you get the picture. Well I’ve had a lot of life happen and I’ve learned most of the things I thought I’d want by this age, I don’t care about at all. Though some of them (like a degree), I wish I had accomplished by this point in my life. However, when things don’t meet our timelines, its not the end of the world. My goal is to graduate this year. I used to be so down at the prospect of graduating at 40. In fact, I’d complain about being “The 40 Year Old Graduate”. Now it’s a title I’ll proudly claim. When I think of all the people who never get a degree or people who have degrees and have not been able to achieve my level of professional success. When I do get my degree it will not be of less value because I got it at 40 and not at 21. At Hampton University 20 years ago, I studied English Arts for 4 years. Today I am pursuing a degree in Management Studies which is far more relevant to the work I’ve done in the last 17 years and will continue to do professionally. I’m GRATEFUL for that! Still, I’m working on patience. Patience with myself. I always think I should be further in every facet of my life. Little by little, I’m learning to appreciate MY journey. I’m realizing more and more that MY time, which is God’s timing for me, is the right time. Every time I’ve accomplished something, its been just at the right time for me to appreciate it, maximize on it, and build to be even better.
- Take Care of Yourself. I am all here for hustle, the grind, being ambitious, but not at the expense of burn out. You can only go so far in your grind if you grind yourself into the ground. I’ve been around women that show up in the clutch my entire life. I can’t think of a single situation in which women in my life have not been there holding it all down, holding it all together. I have incredible women in my life doing it all: being wives, raising kids, crushing careers, building businesses, volunteering, being a champion for their community, you name it. We raise our hands to do everything. When no one else will, we jump right in. But that’s often at the expense of damn near killing ourselves. Seriously, our mental and physical health takes a hit. By the time many people reach my age, they are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, and are damn near about to lose their sanity. With all the goals I have laid out for myself for this next decade, the most important one is to take care of myself. I want to take care of myself so I can continue to kill it. I am blessed to have excellent health benefits and I’m going to take full advantage of them going forward. At tis special age of 40 is when its recommended to start getting mammograms so there’s that. I want to prioritize my mental health as I shared before. I’ve had a good clip with diet and exercise but I want to be more consistent in taking care of myself in that regard. Finally I want to take more periods to relax, unplug and take a break. I see the power in taking moments to recharge. Took me 40 years, but I see it.
This has been a wonderful kick off to 40! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes.Also, it feels great to be back. I see I’ve had more subscribers and ratings in the time I’ve been gone so thank you for that too! You can connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just see what I’ve been up to at view112.com, instagram @jeanitamorris and sometimes I tweet @jeanitasmorris. Thanks so much for listening.