40 Before 40: Well, I’m 40. How’d I do?

After a few months of chronicling my efforts to check off 40 experiences from my “40 before 40” bucket list, the milestone day has arrived! I am officially 40!

(me, circa…summer of I have no idea but definitely the 80s)

So anyway, how did I do with my 40 before 40 adventure?

In short order: Horribly! HA!

When it came to accomplishing things, I didn’t make the time to dedicate towards this project, and it shows by the fact that I never even completed writing the list of 40 things I wanted to do!

But when I did pay attention to this project, there was so much excitement in checking items off, in making an effort to have a special experience in celebration of starting a new decade of life. Of saying goodbye to a decade of life that has been epic. My 30s were unlike my 20s in that I settled down, I found the love of my life and I grew as a professional. There were a lot more nights in with nail polish and Netflix than nights out at the bar.

In my 30s:

  • I graduated with my MA in Writing
  • Met and married Mike
  • Taught college briefly
  • Met, love and had to put my first furbaby to sleep, Timmy
  • Changed careers from journalism to public relations
  • Rode a roller coaster that scared the beejezus out of me: Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ)
  • Experienced two pregnancies, one resulting in a beautiful daughter
  • Started BeautyJudy.com
  • Made new friends
  • Maintained old friends
  • Lost some friends
  • Experienced New York Fashion Week multiple seasons behind the scenes and on the scene
  • Enjoyed two solo European work trips, on which I tacked on additional vacation – Vienna and Munich
  • Started freelance beauty writing
  • Felt the loss of loved family and friends
  • Bought a house

It’s nice to reflect on life this way, vs. mourning my youth, lol!

The next 10 years

As I enter my 40s, I’m not sure what to expect. Does anyone, when they stare down a new decade no matter the number?

While my 30s were focused on my own happiness and career, I envision my 40s to be focused on the safety, health and happiness of my family – especially my daughter.

However, I also feel a shift in how I feel about myself. I’m not happy with my weight. I gained back what I lost before my wedding in 2013. I went from looking and feeling phenomenal and feeling light and free to feeling uncomfortable in my skin and self conscious about the size of my upper arms and belly fat.

But oddly enough, at the same time, I feel more sure and confident about who I am and what I do.

For example, I recently got pastel highlights. I am a colorful person who lives out loud. I wear bright makeup sometimes. I wear quirky clothes. And this was another way for me to express who I am. And I gave in to it.

As I turn 40, I’m much more likely to wear Tarte Lip Paint in Fairytale than I EVER was. In fact, I bought it earlier this week:

Tarte Tartiest lip paint in Fairytale swatch BeautyJudy

I feel much more confident being ME than I ever have.

Mostly because I don’t give a shit if someone judges me. I don’t care about other people’s opinions if I wear a dress with boom box stereos all over it or cat leggings.

I’m not one of those women who will sit here and say, “Oh, well, I’m 40 now, so I can’t wear a T-shirt with a character on it.” Or, “I’m 40, it’s inappropriate for me to do ______/wear ______/act like ______. Nope. I’m going to do what feels right. What feels like ME.

I also envision focusing on my “brand” a bit more. I have never considered BeautyJudy as a career, or a job. I still don’t. But I have decided to expand my brand, and become a makeup artist on the side. I have talked to many of my friends in the industry, and I have been encouraged by what I’ve heard, and the wheels are in motion for me to pursue this. I don’t anticipate this becoming my new career, as I am established in the career path I am in. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in my 30s, it’s that you should remain open to experiences and opportunities for whatever they may offer.

No matter what happens, I’m open to the experiences. I hope that in 10 years, as I stare down the barrel of 50, that I still feel like “me,” and that I feel happy with how my life has been lived. I hope that my family is happy and healthy. I hope that I have a new list of experiences to look forward to as I journey toward another milestone (God-willing!). And I hope I have treasured every moment and experience in the moment.

Thank you so much for following along as I did this!

(Side note!) I love a Glamcor lights. I took the above picture at the Glamcor booth at The Makeup Show NYC this past weekend. This is what 40 looks like for me. And it’s become a photo I love because seriously how amazing is Glamcor lighting?! Momma needs to INVEST in one of these suckers, if this is how all my selfies are going to look!