I don’t know where the time went, but somehow I’m turning 40 this weekend. I’ve been thinking about it (probably a little too much) ever since I found out I was a year older than I thought I was a few years ago.
I was at the hair salon with all of my beauty shop buddies and somehow we got on the topic of age. I mentioned that I was 36 and my girlfriend quickly chimed in to correct me. “No, your 37,” she said. “Uh, no, I’m 36,” I said. She corrected me again and we go back and forth for a few minutes. All the while I’m thinking, “Is she crazy, doesn’t she know that I know how old I am?” Finally, we start to count years. Her birthday had just passed and she is a few months older than me. Then it hit me. “OH MY GOD!!! I’M 37!!!” I screamed. Now mind you, this is like 8 months after my birthday. I went almost the entire year thinking I was still 36!
Realizing that I was really 37 freaked me out. I cut my hair. I started spending a lot of time examining my face in the mirror wondering what 40 would look like. Would I need botox in my forehead, restylane in my laugh lines, dye in my hair, orthotics in my shoes?
Then I thought about my goals and dreams. Forty seems to be the deadline age. The deadline to be married, have kids, own your own business, be financially secure, climb Mt. Everest, learn how to meditate (puh-lease!) or whatever was on your list to accomplish. Now I only have 3 years instead of 4 to achieve every goal on this list (as if one year was going to make a world of difference)!
I was at a crossroads. I had a decision to make. I could continue to stare in the mirror waiting for 40 to appear or I could see my face as was on that day (which actually wasn’t too shabby). I could focus on a list of wishes and wants or I could set realistic goals based on where I was in life at that time. So I put down the mirror and threw out the list. I started to focus on what I had accomplished rather what I had not. I left the house with the face I had that day and stop worrying about what it would look like in the future.
I looked up, and just like that, 3 years have passed. And here I am. 40. I would love to say that I am totally at peace with crossing the threshold, but I’m getting there. And looking pretty darn good as I make my way to the other side:)
Here are 10 things that I’ve noticed about myself at the age of 40:
- I can no longer get off the couch in one motion. Or without grunting. Or possibly hearing something “click” or “pop.”
- I’ve started to rationalize reusing paper products. If I’ve only used that cup/ paper towel/plate one time, how dirty is it?
- Leaving the house without concealer is no longer an option. Period.
- I’ve become more indifferent. My answer for just about everything is “eh.”
- I can no longer leave the house after 10p. Unless I take a disco nap. Yes, I said disco.
- I hear myself saying, “kids these days” way too often.
- I no longer ride the big rides at amusement parks. I’ve become less of a “thrill seeker” and more of a “bag watcher.”
- I scope out the location of the bathroom everywhere I go. I wish I could blame this one on my kid.
- I’ve started eating a ½ stick of gum. Hey, at least it’s not Freedent.
- I’m getting email offers from AARP. Which causes anxiety about turning 50…
If you have already turned 40, how did you handle it?