Browsing my Facebook timeline the other morning I came across an article titled “40 Things No Woman over 40 Should Have in Her House”, this was followed with the subtitle “But No Judgment”.

Which I took to mean the same as Simon Cowell’s “I don’t meant to be rude, but…” that we know was always followed by an incredibly rude and insensitive comment.

But, judgment aside, I clicked on the link to see what they had to say. I was curious, after all, as a woman past 40, of what things I was no longer allowed to keep in my home.

I’ll spare you the details, but needless to say, I still have at least 35 of these things in my home.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret…I don’t plan on getting rid of any of them.

The article meant well, I think…well, mostly. It was meant to encourage decluttering and minimalism, which, for the record, I’m all about.

However, the approach that there should be an age limit on enjoying certain things? That I can’t get on board with.

Look, I get that at a certain point in life we have to “adult” and become responsible citizens of the world.

But why does that mean we should stop having fun, or surrounding ourselves with things that bring us joy?

Why should I feel the need to decorate my home from the “grown up” aisle in the fancy furniture store when the colorful desk I put together myself brings me complete Joy every time I sit at it?

My actual desk

I’m all out of shoulds.

Life is complicated, stressful, frustrating enough, the last thing I’m going to waste my energy on is feeling badly because my home, my sanctuary, my safe space (the one I pay mortgage on BY MYSELF) doesn’t meet society’s standards of what a 40 year old woman SHOULD be doing.

I’m also completely unconcerned with what society tells me I should or should not be wearing at this age.

What form of entertainment I should be interested in.

What type of man I should or should not fall in love with and what he should be bringing to the table at this point in our lives.

Here’s the thing I realized after spending far too much of my early 20’s doing what I SHOULD be doing. I was miserable. And when I realized that and took charge, started living MY life, making choices that fill me with Joy? EVERYTHING changed.

So now, those choices sometimes include colorful desks put together haphazardly with two filing cabinets and a piece of wood.

Sometimes they are cartwheels and handstands in public places.

Sometimes it means falling in love with a man from the “wrong” side of the tracks with no fancy car to drive me around in, but a heart that loves me more than I ever imagined possible. A man who will grow WITH ME, not away from me.

The point is, I’m choosing to ignore the shoulds and follow my Joy.

And no, I don’t plan to stop.

And I hope you don’t either.

I hope you take a look around and find those things that bring you Joy and you embrace them.  I hope you allow yourself to act in whatever way you feel is fitting for your “age”, not what THEY tell you is.

Run through the sprinklers, bust out a dance move, wear the mini-skirt, hold on to your favorite stuffed animal or buy the fancy grown up desk, and fall in love with whoever you please.

BE YOU. Be young and vibrant and alive.  Find your Joy.

And let them keep their shoulds.

If you struggle with this, I would love to chat with you and help you get to a place with no shoulds. Send me a message, let’s talk.

Bring your list of “shoulds” over to my Facebook Group Find Your Joy, we’re going live tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8PM EST to dig deeper into this.