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Last week when I turned 40, my cousin told me that I “would now care even less about what people thought, if that was even possible”. I smiled when I read that because I knew she was right. I think she meant about me when she said that, but for me it’s just an all-around way of thinking.  That clarity didn’t strike the day I turned 40, but close enough.

In the past year or so, that has been my new mentality; what is actually important in life, and what’s not. Without getting too deep into it, I’ve seen a number of people I truly care about have some not so pleasant instances happen in their lives, whether it be illness, loss, or just plain old bad things that happen to good people.  I always thought these were things that none of us would ever have to worry about now, because late 30’s and 40’s didn’t seem like the time for that…but I guess that little assumption was wrong. I don’t know exactly when I thought those kinds of things would start happening – but just not yet, I guess.

Anyway, when they started to all come at once, it really opened my eyes to the way I had viewed things so far in life. Looking back, I feel like I actually wasted some of the precious time I have in my life caring about things that were incredibly unimportant. Now, I could truly care less who said what about who, or what so and so did, etc.  If it doesn’t have a direct impact on my life, I just do not care. Unless it gives me a chuckle, it’s just useless information as far as I’m concerned.

My sole focus is now happiness and appreciating those I choose to have in my world. I count my blessings every night when I lay in bed, and am thankful for everything I’ve got: my health, a career I love, and being surrounded by people who I love and who love me right back unconditionally.

Not so long ago, someone accused me of “getting soft”. It’s not getting soft, it’s prioritizing…and I think it’s a really great thing.

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