Today is my partner in life, business, and all things food – Chef James’ – 40th birthday! It’s a biggie. Here he gets naked with us and reveals how he really feels about this milestone, along with the five things he’s taking into this next year.

40 and fabulous? 5 lessons I'm taking into my 41st year |

Written by Chef James Barry

Written by Chef James Barry

Today is my 40th birthday and I’m not looking forward to it. In fact I feel somewhat depressed about it. I know, I know…everyone says forty is the new thirty, but I’m not feeling it at this moment.

Things I’ve heard about turning 40:

  • You feel the pains of aging more. (I’m definitely finding this to be true.)
  • Weight doesn’t come off as easily. (Yep)
  • The years go faster. (Yep)
  • It’s downhill from here. (I hope not!)
  • You care less about what people think. (Yeah, but that was true in my 30s)

Since perspective is everything, I thought I’d break out of these depressed thoughts by sharing the 5 things I’ve learned in my first forty years that will make the next chapter in my life that much better.

1. Move thy body.

Doesn’t matter how: exercise, walking, dancing, hiking…whatever fits, just do it. Movement is my friend and that is the mantra that I’m repeating to myself as I step into 2014.

2. Smile more. Laugh often.

I’m not sure when I got so serious, but I definitely don’t laugh and smile the way I used to. Smiling not only brightens my day, but it’s infectious and influences those around me.

3. De-stress.

Stress is that monkey on my shoulder that follows me everywhere I go. The less I sweat the small stuff, the better off I am (and if studies are correct, the longer I’ll live, too!)

4. Listen more, talk less.

This is a tough one, but man is it powerful.

5. Connect with other living creatures

From nature, animals to other humans, I believe this is why we are on this planet.

What life lesson have you learned so far that helps you in the present?

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