Yesterday, I turned 40. Yes, Lordy Lordy... the Big 40, bust out the Geritol and denture cream...hardy har har har.
For a little window of time, I really thought it rather sucked (Thankfully, I'm not a dude. AKA, I'd not yet begun shopping for a convertible Corvette). But then I realized that this feeling of impending doom was largely because our culture teaches us all to hate aging and fight it with every ounce of our being.
In reality, I'm rather enjoying aging. Yes, you read correctly. ENJOYING.
I'm smarter, cooler (no, seriously, I am), healthier, wealthier (OK, a relative term) and so much calmer than I was a decade ago. I have a spunky, brilliant kid who last night taught me how to say dinosaur in Spanish (dinosaurio -- said with the authentic "r"), and wore a black Spiderman costume for a good part of the day.
I've got a great partner, ridiculously amazing and loyal friends, and I've ditched the confines of Corporate America for a rather kickass job helping others find rather kickass jobs. By and large, I'm just damned lucky. And quite grateful about it all, too.
But I'll also say this: I took a risk.
Well into a pretty decent career in corporate communications and PR, I took a big, fat, calculated risk and learned the recruiting field. Because I knew my soul would not survive another 20 years on the career road I was traveling. (I specifically recall some execs at my old company arguing vehemently about the ever-important topic of what color a printed coupon should be. On 9/11. Before they even considered letting the staff rush home to their families. And that was pretty much it for me).
Then after I'd spent two years learning the recruiting field? I took another big, fat calculated risk and started my own recruiting firm. After age 35. As a single mom. With no cash reserves. Nor clients.
I just had a plan. Really, a rough draft, one that gave me just enough bravado to launch the thing.
So, yeah. The moral of the story... Please don't ever never ever let "my age" or "my family situation" or "my lame wardrobe" or "my husband's teasing" or ANYTHING stand in the way of finding job passion. We spend way, way, way too much time working here in the old U-S of A. Do whatever it takes to make this way-too-much-time worthwhile.
But, yes, have a game plan. You do need to spend a bit of time investigating on the front end before you get all nutso and quit your day job. Even if you're knee deep in your midlife crisis. A plan.
And the Corvette? Just don't. Especially if you also have a combover.