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Soul searching at 40

(13 Posts)
Lonoxo Sat 11-Jul-20 07:33:29

Hi, just wondering whether anyone did any soul searching at 40 and whether that prompted them to make changes? I’ve tried talking to an old uni friend about it but she’s taking ‘head in sand’ approach and not thinking about it. Another friend doesn’t remember anything significant happening at this point. I’m starting to feel like I’m the strange one!

I’m not unhappy and I know I’m blessed in many ways. I feel turning 40 is different to turning 30. 30, there’s plenty of time and physically we haven’t hit our peak. If I’m fortunate enough to have a long life, then I might be half way through my life.

Be interested to hear whether anyone else went through the same thing.

OP’s posts: |
Thingsdogetbetter Sat 11-Jul-20 10:12:56

Not at 40. But 50 2 years ago was a smack in the face with a dead fish!! Stopped being a pub -going piss-head, and started weight lifting. If I'm going to live another 30 years, I want to physically capable. (Can't wait for gym to open again in 2.5 weeks. grin)

But apart from that I didn't need any other major changes: love my dh, my job and our home (although all of those did happen in my 40s, but not by design.)

I've no kids so I think the passing of time is less obvious to me as I'm not watching kids grow up and moving on.

AnaViaSalamanca Sat 11-Jul-20 12:02:53

I have a couple of years to go still, but I do think about it. I have become very conscious of time passing and how youth is finite so I have to do more active pursuits and adventurer holidays. Also, in the same vein about time passing, and having thought quite a bit over the lockdown, I have decided to let go of some friendship that have been on "life support", friends from school and work that we have been keeping in touch just because. I want to have fewer but deeper friendships.

Also, I have been thinking about closing my social media accounts, and being better at saying no to events and invitations and focus more on myself.

I think the biggest change for 40+ is that as a woman you are (almost) no longer fertile. So your value in the eyes of society drops. Now would you want to desperately cling on to that by botox and fillers and surgery? Or would you stop caring. That is what I have been thinking a lot about.

Recently I posted on S&B board about coming to terms with aging and losing looks, and I got some interesting responses. I think I have been putting too much emphasis on my youth and looks in the past (even though I am fairly accomplished in education and career), so I want to look at myself differently and define my identity in a better way away from looks, attractiveness and sexiness.

Weetabixandcrumpets Sat 11-Jul-20 13:49:26

40 was fine, later 40s has been harder. There is no doubt I am not looking as young as I was (duh!) and I have the menopause to look forward to, but in the same way that when I was at school I did all my homework in the second half of the holidays, I have started really has rather focussed me.

The positives...DD is grown up, DS is getting there, so there is a bit more time for me and I can be proud I have kept them alive for so long grin
I completely changed my career (1 year into 4 years of training). Yup, decided what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I am more aware of my health, so lost 3 stone over the past few years, have taken up Yoga and have made moisturising my religion (cheap and generic moisturiser, I'm still poor, but it all seems to work as well grin )
Although my marriage broke up, which is really sad and was horrific, there is new romance on the horizon and that is exciting.

I was told to remember that age is only a measure of how many times the earth has travelled around the sun. Aging is not something you can escape, but the rate it happens is also down to genes, lifestyle, attitude and luck!

zen1 Sat 11-Jul-20 13:57:11

I am late 40s and the soul-searching thing has really hit me recently. Even though I’m married to a lovely man and have my 3 children (still at school), I’m constantly reflecting as to how my life would have been if I’d made different decisions. I used to live a very different, more exciting, life in my 20s and often hark back to that with a sense of longing and wonder how my life is going to play out.

Lonoxo Sun 12-Jul-20 21:57:00

@zen1, I’m the same - lockdown has given me a lot of time to think. I think about the past a lot. Now that I’m older, I see that life is full of different chapters.


Weight lifting sounds cool. I have felt more conscious of my health and putting more effort into stuff like flossing regularly.

@AnaViaSalamanca, I’ve been feeling the same. It’s time for an audit and I’ve given myself permission to let go of friendships that have run their course.

@Weetabixandcrumpets, that’s what I’m hoping this soul searching does, help me focus on what and who is important. I feel like I’ve been bogged down by too much stuff before. I read this on a website and I liked it - trying to live more from intention, rather than habit.

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Daphnesmate01 Sun 12-Jul-20 22:45:26

Hi Lonoxo

Mid forties and doing a lot of reflection. SAHM to 3 dcs and I have totally lost sight of me. Lockdown has enabled me to take a good look at myself. There is also a personal development type thread currently running in one of the forums.

Pamwasdreaming Mon 13-Jul-20 02:15:32

Yes! I’m 40 and have been searching for years but it really reached a peak at my birthday earlier this year.

love my dh, my job and our home (although all of those did happen in my 40s, but not by design

I take great comfort from this!!

I’ve got 18 months to go and i am doing a lot of soul searching. I’ve made some big changes in the last year (moved abroad, quit my job, working on getting healthy) which have made me very happy, but I feel there’s something major missing.

I think it’s career - I’ve never lived up to my potential and I never quite found a job that fit. I did lots of enjoyable and sometimes exciting things, but they never took off for me or felt like The Thing. Maybe I’ll always change things up every few years, but I do want to achieve something. I’m just not 100% sure what. It’s immensely frustrating and sometimes I get into a terrible thought bog, mentally beating myself up for being “a loser”.

Daphnesmate01 Mon 13-Jul-20 12:49:45

Yes, me too Winter, I feel I've missed out on the career thing - I just seemed to have drifted from one dead end admin job to another (mainly due to low self esteem). My last job was probably the best of the bunch although that has changed in nature too (deskilled). I feel loathed to return to doing the same thing but feel guilty that dh's income is our soul income (I have 3 dcs - 2 young).

I also get the beating yourself up thing. I have a degree and never really used it but I've realised that I'm getting fed up with beating myself up so I'm going to concentrate on establishing my hobbies (one of which is creative) first and then perhaps build confidence through voluntary work.

wizzbangfizz Mon 13-Jul-20 22:43:30

I've just turned 40 and really questioning myself and my choices and how I want to live in the future.

Lonoxo Fri 17-Jul-20 17:21:16

@WinterAndRoughWeather, career’s an area I want to focus on too.

@wizzbangfizz. I think reflecting and soul searching is important as it leads to clarity.

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EmpressLangClegSpartacus Fri 17-Jul-20 17:43:11

At 40 I got out of a shitty relationship & started a new career. Best things I ever did.

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