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Turning 39: A Letter For Almost 40 Year Olds


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Turning 39: A Letter For Almost 40 Year Olds

https://www.katheats.com/turning-39-a-letter-for-almost-40-year-olds

Yesterday the clock struck 39! Here are some thoughts on turning 39 and what I’ve learned so far in my 30s. 

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Yesterday was birthday #39. Remember back when I wrote about turning 24?! My first blog birthday 🙂 

birthday graphic

birthday graphic

Maybe it’s because I don’t love the number 9, but turning 19, 29, and now 39 have felt like bigger transitions than started the new decade. (Ask me again in one year!) 

While it’s weird to think how much time has passed since that first birthday I documented, and how I thought my parents were old when they turned 40, I feel every bit as cool now as I did then! And I am 2x more confident and grounded as my life has evolved.  

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My cake was made by the uber talented Norkeita of Caked Up Cville!! I asked for sprinkles and had no idea there would be a sprinkle explosion hidden on the inside!! I was so glad our photographer Sarah Cramer Shields was there to capture it during our family photo shoot!

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Turning 39: A Letter For Almost 40 Year Olds

Dear Friends, 

I know I don’t have to tell you this, but time feels like it is speeding up exponentially. You know the Twin Paradox in physics? Where one twin travels the speed of light and the other is on earth? I’m the first twin traveling the speed of light! Time is warping, and there is never enough of it. 

Time is our most valuable nonrenewable resource

I think the best explanation for this is that we have so many more responsibilities now than we did decades ago. I look at my kids and how they live in the moment. But they do that because they CAN. They don’t have to think about what’s for dinner tomorrow, how they will pay the mortgage, or logistics for their care. They just show up. 

While I don’t wish I were a kid again, I do long for the days when I’d watch the clock strike 3:00 on the last day of school or after I’d finish my last exam in college and the semester was complete and my next big decision that day was which book to read. The future stopped in the now. 

In less than 10 more years, my oldest child will be college bound. That is a lot more mind-blowing than my age crossing “over the hill.” 

Time is also unpredictable. This realization is why I love the Choose FI podcast. I also recently listened to the audiobook for The Four Hour Work Week (lots of golden nuggets in there) and heard an interview by the author of this book: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management For Mortals

Time ticks by whether you realize it or not. Do you think this is why I have a minor new obsession with time!?

Diversity is the answer to everything

Nutrition. Community. Investments. Diversity inspires health and growth.

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The more diverse the rainbow of foods you eat everyday the better. Yes, that diversity includes foods that some of you might deem “unhealthy.” Foods must play to their strengths just like when a community gathers people of different backgrounds, cultures, and talents, each person contributes in unique ways so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With age comes a curiosity and a sense of craving diversity in all areas.

When I asked my mom if she had any wisdom to share, she said “Don’t have the same argument over and over.” Diversity in dissension encourages growth too!

Find ways to plan so you can live in the present 

Living more mindfully in the present is a goal for many of us. But with the challenges of adulting responsibilities, how do you balance between making a plan and staying mindful? 

Plan a little: your dinners, your monthly spending, when it pays to have done a little research.

But also plan to be spontaneous! Pack an adventure bag and map out a day trip so when you wake up on a Saturday with nothing to do, you can spontaneously do the thing you planned to do on this exact unknown day! Stock your fridge with ingredients so you can create a meal in the moment. Planning spontaneity doesn’t make living in that moment any less fun.

Not everyone is going to like you

And that’s totally fine. I know you guys are realizing this, too. 

If you need a boost of body confidence, read this post. I’ve learned body image is more about perspective than numbers. 

I was searching for a blog post recently when Google led me to an old photo of me on the beach. I thought “damn, look at my muscles!” Then I read the comment captioned under it: “Wow she does NOT have a good body!” Mind you this was years ago, before having kids, when I had 10x more time to focus on myself. I almost had to laugh out loud that the me of today thought I looked smokin’ and this stranger on the internet could only see flaws.

Bodies are bodies are bodies and diversity of bodies makes us human. No one should ever comment on someone else’s body shape. End of story. 

As long as your actions are fueled by kindness and empathy, it doesn’t matter what other people think. 

One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou: 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Make people feel good. 

Love,

Kath, forever a cake lover

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