40 Tips for 40 Years

You will never regret being brave, honest, respectful or kind I turn 40 in a few days and that realization is freaking me out. It is not that I fear aging. I am actually grateful for it. After having chronic illness for almost 20 years, I appreciate that every year of good health is a gift. The freaking out part comes from wondering if I’m on the right path, if I will be able to do everything I want to do with the same passion and clarity of my youth, and if I’ll ever reach my full potential. Some days I feel so wise and enlightened, while other days I feel like I am still a 5 year old afraid to get on the school bus. Still, in my 40 years on earth I have learned a great deal. Here is just a smattering of the goodies in no particular order:

  1. Never wear uncomfortable underwear.
  2. Words are only words. You give them meaning.
  3. A simple touch or caring hug can heal where all else fails.
  4. If you love chocolate, eat chocolate. Don’t let dietary advice rule your world or steal your joy.
  5. Everyone is a critic. Consider the source and never accept criticism from someone you don’t respect.
  6. Those who hurt others are in great pain themselves. The only antidote is love.
  7. Listening is a gift. Truly hearing is a Godsend.
  8. A little blush can work wonders for your self-esteem.
  9. Love doesn’t have conditions.
  10. We all just want to feel seen and heard.
  11. Always be polite. There is no excuse for not saying “please” and “thank you.”
  12. Love yourself first and then let that love overflow to others.
  13. You can’t make anyone else happy. Happiness is an inside job.
  14. Integrity is challenging, but worth the effort. There is nothing worse than disappointing yourself.
  15. Some days a glass of wine is all you need to gain perspective.
  16. Trust yourself always. There is no better compass than your own heart.
  17. Every human being is creative. Find your outlet whatever it may be – writing, painting, photography, music, dance, decorating, gardening, educating, loving. All activities can be done with your own special flair.
  18. Pay attention to babies and nature. They are the closest connection to God we have.
  19. Change is constant and necessary. Don’t fear it. There is always the potential for things to be even better.
  20. Let yourself be lazy. Quiet times are when we can really hear our soul.
  21. Spend your money on the things that will really enrich your life – education, new experiences and health.
  22. Make your home your sanctuary.
  23. The way you treat your body says a lot about you. Always wear comfortable shoes.
  24. Live within your means.
  25. “Light up a room” is not just an expression; it is a way of being.
  26. Learn to love vegetables.
  27. If you lack gratitude, you will never know true joy.
  28. Indulging your kids is not love; it is fear. Children raised by fear will have a hard time recognizing real love.
  29. Helping someone is not always the most loving choice. Sometimes people need to struggle to learn the lessons that life intends.
  30. You will never know what someone else is going through, and trying to do so will just bring pain. Simply being there for someone is enough.
  31. Just because people seem unloving doesn’t mean they aren’t loving with all they have.
  32. Judgment hurts everyone. Let it go if you want peace.
  33. You will never regret being brave, honest, respectful or kind.
  34. Exercise often feels better than you think it will.
  35. Hard work matters. When things are easy they often leave you feeling empty.
  36. Freedom is a state of mind. Virtually anything can be a prison if you let it.
  37. How you think affects everything. Nourish your mind and spirit with the same dedication you give to your body.
  38. All that really matters is what’s happening right now.
  39. It is often better to be kind than to be right.
  40. Be happy for other people. No good has ever come from jealousy.


I still have so much more to learn, so please share some words of wisdom of your own…

6 thoughts on “40 Tips for 40 Years”

  1. You are a beautiful blend of exuberant youthfulness and wise elder. Thank you for these forty fabulous facts for living! Happy almost new decade! And you are such a great example for # 25…you always light up the room!

    1. Michelle Traub, M.A., R.D.

      Thank you very much Lisa! I can’t believe you said that about #25. When I saw you had liked the post I almost replied to you that you were one of the best examples of “lighting up a room” I have ever encountered.

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