"Lordy, Lordy, here comes 40!" -Sarah Mastin Deats

Ok so this isn’t exactly a great quote but for today it fulfills my purpose. Today is a very special Recovery Talk because this is my 40th birthday! When I noticed this Recovery Talk fell on my birthday I knew I needed to do something special. So I’m going to take some liberties and today I’m passing on some of the wisdom I’ve gained in the first 40 years of my life. So let’s get started…

I’m afraid that if I died today my life would have amounted to nothing.” -Soul

This is a genuine fear of mine. Passing on but not having made an impact. When I die I want the world to have been made better because I existed. I realize this seems cliché and I’m ok with that because making an impact is what I do and who I am. Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t doubt your purpose. Don’t doubt your ability to make a lasting impact just by being who you are. You want to leave this world a better place? Smile more. Be kind first and foremost. Love everyone, no matter what. Take time daily to be grateful for the little things because it helps you see the joy in each moment.

“Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

People poke fun and joke because I am always sharing random information, researching something or in school. Google is my very best friend. I never get tired of learning something new and my brain is chock full of questions to be answered. I know how to do the most random things from rigging computer systems with multiple monitors or making a soufflé’ to surgery on a tortoise with a prolapsed intestine… all of which I learned on my own with research. Never stop learning. The moment you stop asking questions and stop learning new things you will stop living. When you stop living, everyone suffers because we lose passion, we lose drive, we stop carrying hope and those around us lose our light. Keep asking questions! Learn until you literally can’t learn anymore and don’t forget to spread the knowledge because this empowers others to do the same.

You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown

This is one thing that keeps me going – 40+ doesn’t matter. I will always have another goal and a huge new dream. I’m wrapping up my last quarter of graduate school right now and one long term goal I have is to build my own Non-Profit. (huge long term goal) My next immediate goal after grad school is to take some time and focus on myself and my family. This is been a very long and hard couple of years, we need time to heal and rebuild and move towards our futures together. I know people that are older than I am that have started school, created businesses or dropped everything to travel the world. Everyday we set goals and chase dreams because we have passions and we can drive towards those passions with every choice we make.

So, 40 to me means that I can make an impact, I will always be asking questions to consistently learn and setting goals to chase my dreams. I’ve also learned that even though I’ve lived 40 years, I know very little and can’t wait for the next 40 years and whatever they may bring.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Arizona Outpatient Support Services Manager at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.