Both of the Trekkers turned 40 years young recently! 😮 🤭 It’s ok though, we’re excited for the next decade!
I always assumed that by now I’d have everything figured out. It’s silly, but when you watch tv, and there’s a character who’s in their 40s, they usually seem so mature. They seem like “real” adults. They have a “real” job, they’re married, they have kids, they own a house…I see them and I think, “I hope I’m like that when I grow up”…
…Wait! I’m married, we own a house, and we both have real jobs. We don’t have kids but Puppers comes in a close second, right? Wow! I am that person! But why don’t I feel like it?
I started feeling “old” when my doctors began responding with, “that’s normal with age” when I would point out oddities I had noticed. Don’t get me wrong, that is a far better response than the alternative could be, but still…
…you also start to notice your age when things start failing on your body and the only true cure for them requires surgery and a 6 – 8 week recovery period to fix! (Bunions on your feet, carpal tunnel in your hands…my knees have started to lock up from time to time…I knew all that hiking would catch up to me one day! )
Part of the reason we still feel like “kids” could be partially due to the fact that Mr. Trekker and I didn’t begin “adulting” until we were almost 30. When one of you spends seven years in grad school, other life events tend to get put on hold.
So, while most of our friends and family members were getting married, buying houses, and having kids at 22 (or earlier), we didn’t get to really start the process till almost 30. So, we’re basically eight years behind everybody else. Does that mean in “adult years” we’re actually only 32? Could that explain why I don’t feel “that old”…or maybe I’m just immature?
I feel as though there were themes to our recent, lived decades:
Our 20s were about finding ourselves in this adult world and figuring out what we wanted to be when we grow up (we’re still working on that one! 😝)…
Our 30s were about paying off the debt we accrued in our 20s, 😂 and building an adult life (“real” jobs, buying a house, starting to accrue a nest egg, etc.)
Hoping for a great decade to come
And now we’re looking forward to our 40s! I’m optimistic that 40 will be the beginning of a great, new decade. Plus, I get to be an even-numbered age again. I like even numbers, so hopefully, that’s a good omen.
I am prayerfully hopeful that our 40s can be about starting to move toward what we really want in life. For me, I’d LOVE to be able to “retire” by 50. I pray for good planning and a little luck to accomplish that.
To be clear, I use the word “retire” VERY loosely. I see it more as “removing oneself from the Monday – Friday, 9 – 5 grind” rather than “stopping work for the rest of what will hopefully be a very long life.” 😇
Our Dreams for the Future
Now that I’m 40, I feel like my priorities in life are changing. Instead of being motivated to pursue that great new job or promotion, I instead find myself wanting to pursue “living our best life”. This looks different for every person but for us, it looks like traveling to amazing places and having awesome adventures.
We’ve already done a decent job of traveling all over the country. We excel at taking random weekend (or multi-week) trips from:
- visiting family
- seeing all 48 of the Continental, US states
- checking items off our bucket list
- doing random adventures
- traveling thousands of miles to the Canadian border for an amazingly tasty, homemade bear claw (and some awesome ghost towns!) 🤤
We want to do even more adventures like this though. We’ve got some pretty epic trips we want to take in the next 10, 20, or even 30 years. As John Muir said, “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
What else are we hoping to see and do in our 40s? Well…
- In the short term, we have an AWESOME 40th birthday trip planned in the near future (stay tuned for a post on that!)
- we have goals to FINALLY make our epic, Alaska vacation a reality…
- …and if we see Alaska we’ll only have one more state to visit to see all 50 US states so…I guess Hawaii it is then!
- we want to drive ALL of Route 66…
- we want to check out and camp on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon…
- we’ve had Nova Scotia/Newfoundland on our list for some time…
- there are still a ton of ghost towns we want to visit in Colorado, Utah, Montana…
…and these are just the big trips within and near the US, these don’t include all the smaller trips we’d like to take…we’ve got a bunch of international locales we’re excited about too, but those may have to wait till our 50s. 😉
- I also have some personal goals I want to achieve:
- Now that the world is entering the “Post-COVID era” I want to FINALLY get to a blogging conference!
- I have one book I’ve been working on writing for quite some time and another I have ideas about…
- I want to write guidebooks to help people easily see/experience this amazing world we’ve been blessed to live in…
- I want to continue pursuing my freelance/consulting career…
Final Takeaways from my 30s…
- I haven’t achieved all my dreams from my 30’s…
- I had the opportunity to attempt to start my own business/work for myself. I was doing pretty well too until a little thing called COVID came along and kind of killed that dream 😡 –at least temporarily–though I’m still trying to press ahead with this in some form or another.
- Several years ago I did leave a job that failed to make me happy, and while I’m back working a “somewhat” normal, 9-5 it tends to be one of the weirdest versions of that type of job that exists, I think 😂 (and I mean that in a good way!)
Easily 60% of my job is paperwork that I can do from home pretty much WHENEVER I feel like it. On top of that, even the meetings I do have I usually schedule myself. This means I can more or less work whenever I feel like it (as long as the necessary stuff gets done). And thanks to laptops and mobile internet I can often work from anyWHERE I want, as well (with a little time to plan.) My job is also based on Billable Hours which is a whole other, weird thing. It makes for an incredibly flexible job that plays well into my plans for lots of travel in our future. 😁
- I haven’t achieved all my dreams from my 30’s…
What does “getting older” mean for me?
I feel like I pretty much stopped “growing older” at around 30–and I’ve had a number of people tell me I don’t look “that old”–enough so that I don’t think they’re “just” being nice! 😇
Based on genetics, I have two possible physical paths to follow as I age. My dad’s side of the family tends to avoid getting grey hair as they get older. My mom’s side, on the other hand, has an infamous “Curse” where everyone has a head full of white (albeit BEAUTIFUL) hair by the time they’re 50! (So far I seem to be taking my dad’s family’s fork in the road. Only the next 10 years will tell if that continues or not! 😯)
- I don’t feel old…Ok, maybe I do “a little”: when I stay up too late and feel like I have a hangover the next day…or when I tweak my back with a violent sneeze (thanks COVID! 😝)…or when I feel a random *crack!* in my neck when raking leaves! I’m more mature now (I think? 🤔) and I definitely feel much more secure in who I am and what I want out of this life (and the world).
- My 30s were pretty good to me and I feel like I’ve really come into my own in the last few years. So what does it mean to notch another year on the proverbial stick of life?
Another birthday means being hopeful about the future!
The good news is both Mr. Trekker and I have longevity in our families. We are blessed to have some pretty good genes in our family trees, so I have every intention of us living to be 85 or so, at least. Almost all of our grandparents lived into their 80s (and many of our family members have lived at least that long, sometimes FAR longer).
- While nothing is guaranteed, of course (my anxiety forces me to put that qualifier in, we don’t want to jinx anything now do we? 🙄) it’s a fair guess (hope?) that we’re not even halfway through our lifespans yet…which is a WONDERFUL thing. Hopefully *fingers crossed*, we have MANY years left to adventure together!
- I have grand plans for the future. I want to travel, I want to write, I want to see and learn new things, I want to leave my impact on the world. I don’t have time to feel old!
Getting older means energy!
I’ve got just as much energy as ever. I still don’t need coffee to wake me up in the morning (Mr. Trekker will tell you the LAST thing I need in the morning is MORE energy 😇). Everything just seems to move so fast these days, I feel like life is racing by! The hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the seasons, the years! I want to embrace life and enjoy it as much as I can, and that can be hard to do when it feels like it’s just whipping by you! (This feels especially true after the craziness of the last few years.)
I pray our 40s are blessed
My goals for my 40s are similar to my goals from past years. I want to continue striving to appreciate the little positives that each day brings. I want to continue to embrace life’s small moments, so maybe each year won’t race by so quickly anymore.
I thank God for these first four decades, and I pray He chooses to bless both Mr. Trekker and me with MANY more! I always try to celebrate birthdays and don’t complain too much about getting another year older. After all folks, it’s better than the alternative, right?!
To help celebrate getting older, check out this great song by one of my favorite Celtic bands. One More Day Above the Roses, by Gaelic Storm!
What do you hope to accomplish in the next decade of your life? Let me know in the comments!
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