I turn 40 years old in 1 month! Due to being in lockdown again in Melbourne, which will also run into my birthday on 17 August – I’m treating myself to taking special care to do all the things I love as my “own 40 yrs old gift”! I love writing, so have been immersing myself in it as it’s a form of creative therapy for me. Plus as I do it – I always aim to inspire whoever will come along with me for the ride.
*(“Ndakusvika 40” means I’m turning 40 in my Shona language from Zimbabwe).
So I decided to write this list: 20 lessons I’ve learnt in my life so far as I turn 40! They are in no particular order. These cover work; romance; health; just living and being woop! Why not 40 lessons? Because I feel 20 inside haha so I thought 20 is plenty. Enjoy!
20 lessons I’ve learnt in my life as I turn 40 in 1 month!
- Ruin is the road to transformation.
I’ve been through so much in my life so far, but it has really shaped and made me who I am today: from grieving my parents; divorce (my dad passed away the same year I went into separation in 2017); previous sexual assaults; anxiety; depression due to these traumas – and others which I will mention more when I write my autobiography.
I came through all of that by God’s grace and actively seeking my healing – to be the smiling, laughing, joyous, 5’5″ woman of passion and energy I am today. I am so grateful for all my negative experiences as I grew so much. I live each day like it’s my last!
2. We don’t see things as they are – we see them as we are.
It took me many years to realise that whatever judgements I had about others or situations, were because I had them about myself and due to my perspective. When I learnt to not blame others or situations for what happened to me, but find my part in it – I started to come to true inner freedom. I’m not saying that people should not be held to account for damaging actions (not at all), but we also need to see what we are thinking or doing that can also attract some situations. If the events happened when we were children however – that doesn’t count as children are just that – children – and it is the responsibility of the adults around them to protect them.
3. Real friendships take work!
I have just a handful of beautiful, true friends who I can say know me inside out and visa versa – who are all over the world. It takes effort from both sides to have great friendships, as with any relationship. And if you have different opinions on certain matters, you can agree to disagree as long as you remain respectful of each other.
4. We are not just physical bodies walking around.
For myself, I see myself as firstly a spirit being with a human body. As such, my faith and spirituality are what carry me through each day. My prayers and meditation are what have gotten me through the darkest times. It is ok for us to have different spiritual beliefs – respect of others views and beliefs is what is important.
5. Divorce sucks lol! Choose your love/life partner wisely.
Hey, I didn’t make the best choices. I made them from the broken place I was in when I did. Take your time to consider whether your partner will be right for you. And if your gut says “maybe not” listen to it. I’m so grateful because I can look back, sitting in a place of healing and go “phew thank goodness I had the courage to see that this situation was detrimental and almost fatal to my mental and physical health (my life)”. I nearly lost myself completely, but got through yay. And I get to have another chance. We all deserve to be happy. Choose you boo as I would say!
6. Trauma happens to many of us and in many different forms.
It often starts in childhood and carries on in our family, work and/or friendships. People who go through trauma are more likely to struggle in life physically, emotionally and mentally including but not limited to: addiction; emotional fluctuations; various mental health issues etc. Be aware of trauma and don’t be afraid to seek counselling plus explore various healing methods which are available to us wherever we are in the world. You are worth it and so is your life!
7. Put your oxygen mask on first.
You can only give to others from the heart when your cup is full and overflowing mentally and emotionally. It is good to be there for others of course, but look after yourself and don’t burn out whilst doing so. When you feel you need “me time” or some self-care time – take it.
8. You are not your body!
The external eventually fades. Work on the inner you first, before focusing on the external benefits. A journey where we try to do work on the aesthetics first, often ends in disaster and never brings true fulfillment. Who you are inside is what is most important before what you look like, what you own, have or what you wear etc.
9. Don’t be afraid to follow your passion!
Think of ways you can make a living from what you love doing. Be reasonable, research, plan and have multiple streams of income. What a miserable life one can lead, doing work you hate everyday.
10. Use your resources.
We have so many resources within and around us to do things. Even when it seems “impossible”, keep thinking of ways you can start certain projects even with minimal cash flow or other required items. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
11. You can choose your movement and how you eat!
There are so many different forms of exercise and ways of eating. Choose what suits your body, mind and spirit. You don’t have to do the latest trend. Choose exercise and ways of eating that will be most enjoyable and sustainable for your life. Remember, your quality of life will depend on your health firstly and foremostly!
12. Drink water!!
When I was young, my sister Eden and I used to have competitions to see who could drink the most water in a day lol! Yes weird kids haha but it served us well for life. Our bodies are made up of at least 70% water so if you are struggling to eat healthy – start with the basics. Increase your water intake. It will benefit your skin, energy levels and every cell in your body.
13. Small steps lead to big goals in everything!
Be it in exercise, healthy eating, study, work etc – it never helps to think of taking big strides straight away. I absolutely live by this and this is even more important nowadays as we go through the uncertainty of the global pandemic. We are all affected in some way. Focus on today. What can you do in today to bring positivity to your life; to get through the day; be a better friend, partner, colleague etc? Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
14. Ladies – upward strokes on face, chin and neck when applying soaps, oils and/or creams to those areas haha.
It helps or reduces (even if it’s just a bit each day) your skin from sagging.
15. Find something to smile and laugh about each day or as much as possible.
Because I love to smile and laugh so much, I actually notice when I haven’t smiled or laughed most of the day. I then actively look up a comedy skit or I dance to bring some fun and sparkle into my day.
16. We are going to make mistakes and epic stuff ups! Embrace them.
I used to beat myself up for mistakes I made in relationships: romantic or otherwise; work, business, study and life. But now I actually write in my gratitude list on days I stuff up “I am grateful for messing up abc, it taught me that…” It’s OK – how can you truly live without making mistakes along the way? Dust yourself up and get up again boo!
17. Be grateful everyday!
I write a gratitude list each day and have been doing so for years. It really is the best thing as it helps me to focus on all the small things that make up what my life is about. To have a warm bed to sleep in at night is a blessing. Living life from a place of gratitude changes your whole perspective.
18. Give, give, give and then some!
We are on this earth not just for ourselves. The highest form of love and human experience is to be able to give to another human. To give and not expect anything back is living from a place of pure love. That can be hard to do for anyone, but once you step into that place – it really is one of the best inner emotions.
19. You cannot attract what you are not or don’t have.
Oftentimes you hear us say “I want a job like this or I want a man or woman who is abc.” But you cannot expect to attract a parrot if you are a duck. OK that is a silly example haha, but what I’m saying is become what you want to attract. This is particularly true in love partnerships. Yes you want all these amazing qualities in your partner, but do you have those qualities too? Be the change you want to see.
20. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, playful and fun!
Dance African rhumba music around your room with your pillow; dance on the bed; pick up and throw falling leaves into the air; heck whatever rocks your boat honey. Have some fun in life! Life is too short not to.
Hope you enjoyed my list! Here I go as I head to 40 woop!!