What Every Dreamer Ought To Know About Turning 49

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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ME THE PERFORMERI survived turning 49.

On July 4th 1960 at 5:36pm this blogger you know came screaming into this world in a small delivery room within Memorial hospital in Santa Rosa California.

This August I will have officially outlived my dad.

What can I share?

I can only share what I have experienced from a female viewpoint, so you guys will have to let me know if it is the same for you.

I can begin by telling you that life in your 40s is about the second act.

It will be about setting right the mistakes of your 20s.  It will have you questioning all the decisions of your past, and force you to take a good hard look at where you are in life.

It will have you coming to grips with aging and accepting that you are no longer in your 20s and what you want to do about it.

Some friends will begin to get sick, go on medication, move, experience divorces, affairs and all manner of life’s challenges.  You will question your career, your education, and your bank accounts.  You will begin to look towards the years you will be an empty-nester, or you will reflect on the years you chose not to have children.

This is what everyone should know about turning 49

1.  If you are in an unhappy, un-fulfilling relationship – you will want out.

Some do it with affairs during their 40s and others move into their own bedrooms in the same house.  Some shop for encounters on the Internet while others begin visiting bars again like they did in their 20s. But however you do it, you will search for a way to get out. If you can’t afford to get a divorce, then you will find a way to leave emotionally.  But you will check out.

2.  You will have to address years of not taking care of your health.

If you don’t always eat your veggies, and you drink a little too much, have a sweet tooth and don’t exercise much – in your 40s your body will force you to look your lifestyle habits.  If you are one of those women who pushes hard, stays up late, survives on 6 hours a sleep a night and three cups of coffee, by the end of your 40s your body will probably be telling you to fuc* off.  I kid you not.  It will find a way to force you to sleep more, eat better and exercise – or you won’t be picking up your grand children.

3.  If you hate your job you will be looking for a way out.

When you are in your 40s you will find the job you hate almost intolerable.  If you are smart you will take some classes and get yourself  re-trained in something else.  If you are really smart you will take classes in something you used to love doing.  Either way, you will want change and change your life you will.

4.  If you have invested wisely and handled your finances you will begin to reap great rewards.

If you have planned well and taken care of your financial details, the 40s are when things begin to really come together.  Big promotions can happen and you can find yourself in a comfortable financial position, able to begin traveling and enjoying the fruits of 20 years of laboring.  If you’ve taken care of yourself – you don’t feel old, so life takes on a pleasant glow as now you can enjoy better wine, better food and appreciate all you have done to get where you are.

5.  In your 40s you know exactly what you want . . . and don’t want.

Everything becomes crystal clear in your 40s.  You know what you want and what you don’t want.  You find yourself speaking out for the first time without fear.  It’s easier to say no and feel okay about it.  You find you have true strength and manage looking out for your needs first.

6.  Your heart calls you to do what you have always longed to do.

If you have ignored a dream, the 40s are when your dream voice comes screaming back into your mind – begging you to let it in.  If you used to paint, you will find yourself buying paint brushes and paints again.  If you used to dance, you will be looking for dance groups your age.  If you used to write, you will begin writing again.  You may even think about publishing your first novel.  You will want to re-connect with your past loves and dreams.

7.  You will question your faith or lack thereof.

You will either begin to doubt the religion you were raised in, and begin and exploration of other religions (or even give up believing all together) – or your faith will grow stronger and you will find yourself studying a regular religious practice.  You may even take up meditation and yoga.  But this time around you will make these decisions based on study and exploration – not your parents wishes.  You will search for a deeper meaning to life.

8.  You may consider having children or having “your last one.”

If you haven’t taken the time, or found the “right guy” to have a baby, you begin to get real serious about this at 40.  Those of you who’ve had children may miss the years when they were babies and you may be considering having one last child.  Having children under the age of 3 can be exhausting beyond anyone’s imagination – and this is double the older you are.  Make sure if you are planning babies in your 40s that you marriage is solid or you have help you can hire!

Your soul will call out to you in your 40s to make changes to align yourself with who you really are or who you have become.  If you are smart you will great these changes with great expectation, if not, you may spend a lot of time crying in the bathroom.

So buy some vitamins, get a good journal, start walking and drinking water, get some sleep in anticipation for the 10 year ride of your life.


  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you for your birthday wishes and thank you Kim for your kind comments!

    • Debbie

      December 17th 1961, Long Beach, Ca St Mary’s Hospital ,,,,December 12th 2010 Hidden Valley Lake, Ca ..I am soon to be 49 & was compelled to look on the internet about turning 49..I could not have said it better myself. Amen & I am looking forward to embracing my fifties!!

  • Kim

    I love this post. We need to all enjoy our time here. Sometimes it’s hard to do but reading a post like this helps bring things in perspective again. Happy Birthday!

  • Alyse

    There may only be 8 of us in our group but we share so many of the same human stories.

    Your voice is also mine, my dad died at 48. We in turn touch and echo the sotry of 10 fold more women.

    43 is is a niggling little niche, you make me excited to get to 49 and 50.

    Celebrating Sebastopol Independenca Day – July 3rd – I’ll definitly be raising a toast to you at Hopmonk tonight, join us if you can & want to!