40 Thoughts On Turning 40
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.
Happy Monday friends! As you can tell from the title of the post, I’ll be turning 40 very soon – next Tuesday in fact. Since Mrs. Frugal Rules and I will be in Vegas celebrating my birthday (thank you credit card rewards for the free trip) over that time I thought I’d share some thoughts on the supposedly momentous day today. I know Vegas may not be the most frugal of vacation destinations, but you have to have fun every once in a while, right?! 🙂
I can remember back to when I was turning 30 and thinking, oh my gosh, where on earth has time gone! Now as I look back a decade later, that day seems like it was just yesterday. Turning 40 is often considered being at or near midlife. I don’t know if that is necessarily the case, but what I do know is that each day is truly a gift. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow so I do my best to live each day to its fullest. With that, I’ve got some brief thoughts I’d like to share on turning 40, in no particular order:
1. Life is entirely too short to do something that makes you miserable.
2. College kids now look like pre-teens at best.
3. No matter how difficult the day, find something to be thankful for. You’d be amazed at how that can change your perspective.
4. Tell someone you love them at least once a day, trust me, it’s worth it.
5. No one ever told me that hair would start growing out of certain orifices at this point!
6. The laughter of children is contagious.
7. If you say that you’re going to start working on X tomorrow, start now! If you wait until “tomorrow” I can guarantee you that your chances of doing it go down exponentially.
8. Money is a tool, one that is great to have and have more of – but it’s not everything.
9. Stretch yourself at least once a year, if not more. Find a goal that is going to take you out of your comfort zone and throw all you can at it.
10. Change is inevitable, deal with it.
11. Like it or not, (and I don’t) regardless of how much you think you are, you’re NEVER always right.
12. Travel the world. Ok, I know this one is a little on the generic side, but you get the point. There is so much to see and do in this world and when you visit other countries not only do you get to see beauty you’ve never seen before, but you also see that our “history” is but a drop in the bucket.
13. My parents were right when they said not to wish your life away, it goes by too fast. 🙂
14. Do something selfless for someone at least once a day. Whether it be big or small, the point is to serve someone each day.
15. Don’t let haters keep you down, use the hate to make you stronger.
16. I can want something all I want, but without a solid plan it’s just not going to happen.
17. Debt, especially consumer debt, is toxic. The experience of paying it off though can be an incredibly eye-opening experience. Soak it up for all it’s worth.
18. No matter how much I want to tell that person who cut me off in traffic where they can stick it, it’s just not worth it. I’m still working on this one… 😉
19. I can still remember beta max tapes. Now, we’re watching television on the computer!
20. Even though our kids fight it kicking and screaming, I WISH I could take a nap each day.
21. I have a lot of friends, if you look at social media. I’m thankful for each one, especially those I’ve met and truly have gotten to know.
22. Embrace gray, and gasp…white, hair. With it comes wisdom and who doesn’t like a little salt with their pepper?! 🙂
23. Our six year old thinks I’m turning 93…
24. I love my wife more each day, and her beauty grows with each passing day. I know, cue the cheesy music. 😉
25. No matter how much you hate your job, find ways to grow in it – it will make you a stronger person.
26. You can learn the greatest lessons from kids. We discount them too much in our society, instead we should learn from them.
27. Routine is boring, try something new. You never know, you may just like it!
28. I thought I knew what I wanted when I was younger, it took getting older to figure it out.
29. The best friends are those you can not speak with in ages and pick up like it was just yesterday with them.
30. Embrace trials in your life. You learn A LOT about yourself in them.
31. Those wrinkles weren’t there yesterday…
32. Like it or not, you’re going to turn out, to a certain extent, like your parents. That doesn’t mean you’ll make the same mistakes though.
33. Teddy Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It took me 40 years to realize this. You don’t know what someone else is going through, be happy with what you have.
34. Do something silly every day.
35. There are few things that a nice glass (or two) of wine or a good beer can’t solve.
36. Honesty and transparency are overlooked, yet incredibly important traits to have.
37. Allow time for yourself. Find something that allows you to recharge and refresh. All work and no play can make life very monotonous if you’re not careful.
38. If the first 40 years is any indication, I can’t wait to see what the next 40 are like.
39. Age is but a number. You’re as old as you are in your heart – which means I’m going on three if you ask Mrs. Frugal Rules. 🙂
40. Appreciate each day. Time is truly a gift!
Phew! I didn’t think I could come up with 40, but I did. 🙂 I look at this list and see things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to do. Some I’m still working on and others I do well. Thankfully, wisdom comes with age. As I said prior, I’ll be taking advantage of #37 next week as Mrs. Frugal Rules and I unplug and go on a trip of our own to recharge and celebrate – I may not even turn on my phone during that time. To be honest, I’m just a bit nervous as we’ve never been away from our business this long, but I trust all will take care of itself.
What is one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
Photo courtesy of: Marc Van Der Chijs
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.