I turned 40 and something woke inside me. Some turn 40 and have a mid-life crisis. I believe I am experiencing quite the oppositea mid-life awakening. This may mean different things for different people, but this is what it means for me.

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It means understanding the value of time and only wanting to spend it with people who make me happy. It doesn’t matter if you’re someone I once considered a friend, a toxic family member, or a disgruntled co-workerif you’re constantly negative, I will distance myself entirely. I am only making time for those who make me laugh, lift me up, and make me want to do the same for them.  

It means no longer needing to explain myself to people who don’t understand me. 

I have plenty of faults. Believe me, I’m my own worst critic. But I’m learning to accept those faults because I have so many people who love me despite them. If you’re not one of those people, that’s OK. Not everyone is going to like me. But please move along quietly. Because if you’re waiting for me to explain why I am the way I am, then you’ll be waiting for eternity. And if it angers you to the point you need to toss negativity my way, then I will gladly step aside and clear a path for you so you can keep on truckin’.  

It means no longer obsessing over the size of my jeans or the number on the scale. I exercise to stay healthyphysically and mentallyrather than to try to sweat myself skinny. I eat healthy 90% of the time but won’t say no when my kids ask to stop for ice cream. And if tacos are calling my name, you better believe I’m answering.

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It means no longer having the energy to work hard for a boss who doesn’t appreciate my efforts. I have so much determination and drive but am no longer willing to hand it over without gaining anything in return. I want to focus that energy on something that matters. I want my efforts to count for more than just a paycheck.

It means living in the moment and not worrying as much about the future.

I’m a planner, always have been. Going with the flow is not my jam. But I’ve come a long way from where I began. Whether it’s from getting older or the global pandemic curveball that was thrown our way, I’ve learned to calm my need to control the future. And I have to say, life is a lot sweeter when you’re soaking up the moments instead of worrying when the next one will come.

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So instead of enduring a mid-life crisis in the form of a shiny, red sports car or expensive Botox, I’m putting negativity behind me and living with fewer cares. I’ve come to realize I’m not that great at planning anyway. Because if I would have planned better, I would’ve planned this mid-life awakening to happen a whole lot sooner. My life would’ve been filled with more laughter, less heartache, and so many more guilt-free tacos. Just the way life is meant to be lived.

Amber Kruse

Amber is a professional Accounting Manager by day and a train wreck mother by night. She is a wife and mother to four children ages 5-15. She gets through life on copious amounts of coffee, lots of humor, wine by the box and tons of laughter usually brought on by her kids’ shenanigans. You can view her Facebook page at The Motley Kru by Amber Kruse.