Something happens in your 40’s – a series of shifts cause you to do a double take on what actually matters in a partner and in friends.
This may include:
- You choose to take care of a sick/aging parent
- More and more friends get cancer
- You lose someone you love – due to death, mental illness or simply growing apart
- You see friends getting divorced
- You get an autoimmune disease or some health issue that restricts your old way of life
- The generation after you makes fun of how you dress and you question if you’re now “old”
- You stop getting hit on
- You get the thing you’d been chasing your whole life, only to realize that you’re still not fulfilled
- You fixate on zapping every wrinkle in a war to not let your face reveal your age
Whether some or all of these things happen, you realize that your body is no longer invincible, staying healthy can no longer be passive, and the amount of life left to live is becoming shorter and shorter.
You realize that all the stuff you used to think was so important when evaluating someone – how cool they are, how charismatic, how many times they went to Burning Man, how good looking, how rich…
None of that matters.
What matters is someone who will hold your hand while you grieve your parent dying.
What matters is that they see you and love you for your essence, even when you develop a thyroid issue and gain weight from all the meds.
What matters is that they will advocate for you when you are in the hospital and cannot fight for yourself.
Invest in the people who are loyal, kind, generous, supportive and loving. The people who will genuinely be there for you even if/when the superficial qualities you’re valued for, fade.
And don’t forget to be in integrity with those values yourself.