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40 lessons for 40 years

I celebrated my 40th birthday over the weekend. This was a big one for me. I had been ‘practicing’ telling people I’m forty for about three years leading up to this birthday to help me feel more prepared for it. Now that I’m on the other side, I thought to write down some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past 40 years — many of which I really feel I’ve only truly ‘absorbed’ in the last couple of years–one or two as recently as last week, and there are a few I’m still working on. Ha! So here goes nothin’ : 40 lessons for 40 years: 

  1. I am my own best friend
  2. I am my toughest critic
  3. Smart means different things to different people
  4. Sexy means different things to different people
  5. Owning up to mistakes is hot
  6. Physical beauty is defined by inner beauty
  7. Charisma is contagious
  8. Negativity is also contagious
  9. Passion acts like a fertilizer to any creative project
  10. Taking things too personally only hurts myself
  11. Creativity and confidence are intimately connected
  12. Being “non-confrontational” doesn’t usually make situations better or more comfortable in the long run
  13. Wrinkles, grey hair, body hair in general and stretch marks are beautiful
  14. Loving myself *hard* makes it easier for me to love others *hard*
  15. The way others get things done isn’t neccessarily the best way for me to get things done
  16. Herb(s) are magical
  17. It’s ok for people not to like me
  18. It’s ok for people not to agree with me
  19. Dancing is therapeutic
  20. Laughing is therapeutic
  21. Making music is therapeutic
  22. Painting is therapeutic
  23. Plants are therapeutic
  24. “Why” is a really important question (the most important??)
  25. Good processes beget good outcomes
  26. A lot can be done with a little, and makes space for creativity
  27. Holding on to anger is not healthy
  28. Diversity breeds better outcomes
  29. Practice anything daily and I’ll get good at it
  30. It’s ok to disappoint people
  31. Things that I once thought of as personal weaknesses or defects have become some of my greatest strengths
  32. Listening is almost always more effective than talking
  33. A heartfelt apology can go a long way
  34. WHO you surround yourself with is one of the most important life decisions
  35. Routines are important. Breaking routines is also important
  36. Everyone is struggling with something, some people are just better at hiding it than others
  37. A little kindness goes a long way
  38. It is easy to spread joy
  39. My gut is rarely wrong (but it is wrong sometimes)
  40. I feel my best when I feel the most connected to Mother Earth

//photo by Dabito

Alternative Text Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

4 responses to “40 lessons for 40 years”

  1. Mireya López says:

    Igual va mi feliz cumpleaños. Soy fans tuya.
    Vivo bastante lejos de donde tú estas, pero no es im-
    pedimento para alucinar con todo lo que haces.
    Soy de Santiago de Chile. También estuve de cumpleaños, para ser mas precisa el 23 de este mes.
    Un abrazo y bienvenidos los 40. Son pura sabiduría.

  2. kay says:

    Happy birthday to you!!!
    And thank you for being you. Seeing your pictures and creations brought much more in my life than you can imagine.
    I wish you the best!

  3. Rusty says:

    You’ve made my life much brighter and colourful by giving me more confidence to make my home my own style.
    41. Your style is contagious
    42. You’re admired so much because you keep it real
    43. Jungalicious is a ‘thing’ because of you and your jam
    …..there are so, so many more.
    May you continue to do YOU so well and to share the good stuff far and wide.
    Happy days from Australia!
    Love n hugz, Rusty xox

  4. Kem Lee says:

    Your 40 Lesssons are fantastic, please put them in your next book. Truly, I appreciate the reminders and the embrace of the paradox of living a peaceful life.

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