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By Kristin Hiemstra A shameless believer of human potential, Kristin is as dynamic and energetic about career issues as a nice person can be. She combines real world knowledge from her many years of hiring experience in Washington, DC with a decade of college admissions experience.

To Forty and Beyond! The New Age of Awesomeness

By Kristin Hiemstra Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

So here we are. No longer babies of the world, we are now the adults of it. How did this happen?! Just yesterday we were graduating from college and looking for the place with the best Happy Hour specials. The irony is that we struggled then and we are still struggling now. Back then we were trying to scrape up enough money for a burger and a beer. Today we are still scraping by but the list of things to pay for is longer and includes mortgages, car payments, braces, tuition fees, weddings, and, of course, reading glasses.

Back when we were kids we thought like kids. We spent our money on ourselves and we planned our future over late nights at the bar. We were going to be millionaires by 40, travel around the world, and have a best-seller under our belts by now. Then things changed. We lost control somewhere between our job, the dog, and the second kid. We’ve become boring and serious. We’ve forgotten how to have real fun, belly laugh, and be free. Forget living life to the fullest, we are lucky if we remember brush our teeth every night before falling into bed completely exhausted. While are days are full, this is not quite the fullness we had in mind when we were planning our lives. But it is close. A few tweaks and we will be there.

Now older and wiser and much better looking than we could have ever dreamed of, we don’t think like kids anymore. We know things require a plan and take time to manifest. This wisdom is not headline news. It goes back to Biblical times. 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.

Giving up childish ways means facing life full on. It means taking responsibility for ourselves, our words, our relationships, our families, our community, and our world. This depth of living is not child’s work. It is the work of the adult within. However the adult in us can get so high on their horse and that they forget that life is about the journey, not the destination. I have two questions for you:

1.  Can you have fun if the house is not clean?

2. Is the house ever clean enough to have fun?

…. Yep, you are busted. You are far too serious and desperately in need of being reminded who you really are — a fun loving, responsible, awesome person.

As we age, we develop a one sided relationship with time. Basically time moves faster and we hold on for dear life. Though we still look awesome and could easily play our children’s siblings on the made-for-TV-version of our lives, we are not getting any younger. We like control and with time we have none. This is definitely not the relationship we had in mind since there is no give and take. Every New Year’s Eve reminds us that we’ve got to get a move on if we are going to get all the things done we want to do.

Our forties and beyond are the point in our lives when it is our time to set our own priorities. It is at this time when we can focus on ourselves for more than a fraction of a second and really think about what we want in the future. In the past we put this on the back burner because we knew it required more RAM space than we had available. Now that we no longer have to search for goldfish crackers in the sofa cushions or worry about our child drowning themselves in the bathtub, that RAM space is freed up.

The average age expectancy in most developed countries is around 80. Think about your current age and how long it will take you to get to 80. Remember that it took you twelve years to get from 30 to 42 and think about how much change happened during that time. Let’s say you are 59. If you live to the national average you’ve still got over 20 years to build a whole new life. There is a great quote by motivational speaker Earl Nightingale I want you to live by:

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.

Go ahead. Embrace your hidden dreams and set your course.

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