I’m here to tell you that “old” and “older” aren’t bad words. Yesterday was the first birthday in a long time that I didn’t feel my own self-inflicted pressure to do anything about. I’m honestly happier and more at ease with myself.

I’m not saying everything’s perfect and there are no downsides to getting older (or that you’ll suddenly turn wiser with age). I worry more about every ache and pain now. I stress about having enough money for my daughter’s college education, my retirement, and caring for aging parents. I’ve got more responsibilities and commitments than ever. But I’m still looking forward to my 40s—mid-life crisis ahead or not.

If you’re approaching 40 (or whatever decade you’re getting to), don’t be afraid. Come on in, the water’s warm.

via Four Ways My Life Is Better at 40 Than It Was at 20.