I sat with my friends at dinner this week thinking about the number 40.  We were all in the same class in high school and all had February birthdays, so we thought it would be fun to commiserate together.  We concluded that 40 is just a number and there is no reason to be scared of it.  Just because we thought 40 sounded ancient when we were running around together as 16 years olds doesn’t mean it is true.  As you get older you get wiser, right?  None of us “felt 40” and we all thought we didn’t “look 40” either! Of course we didn’t get the opinion of a nearby teenager.  I shared with the group how I remembered my dad’s 40th birthday when I was 5, and how all his friends dressed in black and laid into the “over the hill” party theme.  I don’t hear about these “over the hill” parties so much anymore, so maybe 40 really is the new 30?!

At any rate, I feel like I have been preparing for this birthday all of my 39th year.  The big 4-0 stared me down as I reflected about what it means to be finishing my 4th decade.  My 30’s were an amazing time of growing for my business, from just me working out of my in-laws loft (where my husband and I lived during the recession before we bought our first home) to having a dream of a studio in mid-town Sacramento with 2 amazing designers working for me.  It was also the season of having my 2 babies, experiencing the joys and pains of parenthood, and helping them become self-sufficient enough to start school.

For the first time this year, I chose a Word of the Year, which is a self-reflection and goal setting exercise I have been wanting to do for a few years now.  The word I chose was “Foritfy”. I liked that is had some great alliteration with “Forty”, and when I landed on that word it was like the heavens were singing; I just knew that was my word.  I have spent the last few years refining my business practices, and reading books on self-awareness, so I felt like now was the year to actually strengthen and further develop the foundation that had been laid.  I also grabbed the word “Flourish” as my word of the decade because that is also relevant.  I really feel like I’m standing at the precipice of a great thing that will happen in my career.  I can see that all the seeds that have been planted through the sweat of intentional work, mistakes I’ve learned from, and my mentors’ wisdom will now start to grow, and even flourish this decade. On a personal level, I also hope to flourish and have my family flourish along with me.

So bring it 40’s!  You are going to be fabulous!


Rebecca Ward