The Forty F**k It List: Ring in a New Decade By Letting Go

How to make your forties fabulous

Gold Balloon Numbers 40

Life is too short to hold onto the things that weigh you down – it’s cliché, but it’s also true. Our forties (and fifties and sixties) can be a time of much-needed self-reflection, where we own who we are (or acknowledge who we aren’t). And that’s where the Forty F**k It List comes into effect.

Here are some tips to celebrate this major milestone by letting go and saying, “f**k it.”

Let go of friendships that weren’t meant to last.

From the words of another Ice Queen, “Let it go.” Some friendships were meant to feature prominently in a chapter of your life, but so much can change as you move through new chapters. Like any relationship, it can be hard to grow in the same direction. When friendships feel forced, it’s time to move on. But unlike in high school, you can spare yourself the drama and accept that it wasn’t anyone’s fault – it just happens. Maybe you’ll reconnect one day, but maybe you won’t – and both are okay. 

Know when to leave fashion trends on the runway.

Keeping up with the latest trends can be more exhausting than running on a treadmill all day. Between scrolling and feverishly adding items to carts only to leave them sitting there, it’s practically a full-time job. Then, there’s the eventual try-on where you question how lucid you were when you purchased said item before scrolling again to check if you’re wearing it correctly and then finally shoving it into the furthest corner of your closet. For some, rocking these trends is seamless – no matter their age – but for others, it’s okay to admit that some trends are worth skipping. Find what works for you, take a few chances and feel confident. Ultimately, nothing looks better.


Give the cold shoulder to judgmental parents.

An unexpected side effect of becoming a parent is the onslaught of unsolicited parenting advice or judgement from other parents that you didn’t ask to receive – well-intended or otherwise. By the time your kids are in elementary school, the comments only multiply as you encounter more parents through school and activities. It may be easier said than done, but make a conscious choice to not let it bother you – at least not as much. Personally, I’m learning to accept that at this stage of my life, unless it’s a comment from someone whose opinion matters to me, I will kindly ignore their comments – thank you, next.


Don’t feel bad about stepping off the corporate ladder. 

At some point between having kids and the pandemic, my career ambition pretty much up and left. I struggled to articulate how I felt to other women – friends, colleagues, and school moms who kept on climbing. But according to a 2022 survey by LinkedIn, 64 percent of women have taken a career break. There is no shame in kicking your career back into high gear just as there is no shame in taking a different path. Mine led me to exactly where I want to be at 40 – perhaps not a corner office, but I can’t complain about the home office views.


Act your age. Also, don’t act your age. 

As a millennial who is supposedly entering middle age, I’ve got conflicting thoughts about this new milestone. I often feel like I’m playing the role of a grown-up, not actually being one. I’m not ready to fulfill the perceived notion of what a “40-year-old woman” should be, and that is entirely okay. Find what makes you happy as you adapt to each new life stage – even if that means singing karaoke at a bar with a bunch of college kids or going to bed before 9 p.m.


Lindsay Marett is a writer and strategic communicator with a passion for storytelling. Born and raised on the North Shore of Vancouver, she loves exploring this part of the world with her husband and two young girls. One global pandemic and a treacherous bout of homeschooling led her to take a step back from her career to figure out her next role (and daydream about being on SNL). Until then, she’ll write about making lemonade out of life.