What Turning 40 Feels Like

what turning 40 feels like

The days leading up to me turning 40, I remember my 6th grader Jack telling me, “Don’t worry mom about turning 40. I told my best friend that you are going to be 40 on Tuesday and he couldn’t believe IT and told me that he did NOT think that you look THAT old!” Ha!

THAT OLD.  I mean is 40 really even considered THAT old anymore?

Now that I’m two days after it, I don’t think 40 is old at all. In fact on the day I turned 40, it was one of the best, and most enjoyable days of my life. And I felt as youthful as ever!

After reading this article, I’m a big believer in its main point that only YOU have the power to make the popular saying “40 and Fabulous!” come to life. Because there are two choices on how to treat life after the transition into 40+…

  • You can get busy embracing and living what is to come in life after 40 and realizing what a privilege it is
  • OR you can get busy making up excuses for not participating in life and get busy dying. Harsh? Maybe. But it’s true.

The article goes on to ask you to think about what other people you know that turned 40 did with their lives – from your parents to older friends and co-workers. What path did they choose and how has it affected them?

So how did the day I had actually been dreading for a while, end up being SO enjoyable?

Well my hubby completely surprised me by having a revolving door of friends come visit me all.day.long on my birthday.  (See, working from home has its perks.)

My first friend Alice showed up at my door at 7:45am with a bottle of champagne and orange juice asking, “Is it too early to start celebrating??” It was a Tuesday.  No sooner had she left, then the next friend showed up with fresh flowers just wanting to say “hi” on her way into work in a city next door. By the 5th visitor with coffee, donuts, and more flowers, I started to catch on.

Scott told me to sit back and relax, that he had planned to have all the friends he could contact drop by our house to  say “hi” and give me a birthday hug.  He even got my own mom to drive 3 hours up and surprise me with a visit!

No fancy dinner out, no surprise venue, no new car or new handbag.  But I was surrounded by special people in my life who are my cheerleaders (and vice versa) that took time out of their day to come over and let me know that 40 was going to be the best year yet.  It may sound over the top, but I felt lucky to be alive.

Most noticeable changes as I have gotten to this age of 40…

The gray hairs are multiplying like Gremlins. I can’t contain them. I started really seeing them over three years ago. I’m not ready to embrace these quite yet however. Box dye and root touch up products are my best friends.

I wake up with a neck ache every morning. However as the day progresses, it gradually goes away. Not sure what this is about.

I rarely get asked for my ID when I buy alcohol anymore.  And I live in a college town. So I guess I don’t even look close to 21 anymore.

I actually become disappointed/saddened watching my kids play on iPads and iPhones. I never had those growing up and was always outside, or playing at a friends house (which I would walk to with no phone to contact my parents with!), or drawing and coloring by myself. I am feeling nostalgic for those days for my own kids to figure out how to entertain themselves with no phone. I have also started to worry about their mental well being with online bullying and everything. This article on the scary truth about what’s really hurting our kids really hits home on how careful we need to be with our youth and social media.

Worrying more. I literally worry about everything. Especially when it comes to my kids. This quote about worry should be reason enough to stop!

Speaking of phones, when I happen to take a selfie shot of myself to check my makeup in my iPhone, I sometimes get shocked that I look older than I feel. I am trying to resist automatically putting a filter on myself though because I need to start embracing the truth (or atleast put on more concealer!).

I automatically think that older men in Hollywood (and real life) are more attractive than their younger actor counterparts. (Except for Zac Efron in the Greatest Showman. Exception to the rule, he’s super smokin.’)

I cannot eat anything and everything anymore with no consequences.  If I eat a bowl of pasta, I feel as if it is immediately settling into my love handles.  If I drink multiple cocktails, I’m going to feel “fuzzy” all day the next day, and possibly into the next.  Luckily I have found that drinking good/clear tequila, is about the only thing that doesn’t give me that hungover feeling the next day. (And Suzanne Somers swears tequila is the only liquor that won’t make you fat!)

Some of the special friends that stopped by to celebrate with me. And yes I wore that hat ALL DAY LONG!

What I’m enjoying about being 40+….

Despite the occasional neck ache, I feel pretty darn young. I actually love to go out (and even stay out late!) with my girlfriends and/or my hubby.  If more of my friends liked dance clubs, I’d be the first one to walk through the door. We have a place here in town where they only play 90’s music, and it’s literally the most fun a girl my age can have on the dance floor.

Continuing to enjoy watching my kids grow up and soaking in each and every day. The issues we face with them are getting trickier as they get older but I hope to take those learning moments and make a positive impact on them. Piggybacking on the cell phone thing, I’m going to start putting it away more when they are at home because I feel like I get too distracted by it and miss moments due to my phone. I want to enjoy MY kids and not other peoples kids on Facebook and Instagram.

Beauty exploration.  I am full force into taking the BEST care of my face and body and appearance. I feel like beauty & skincare companies are becoming more and more innovative and that is thrilling as a professed beauty junkie who just turned 40. I have embraced the idea of getting older, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to let myself go and let nature do its thing. Prevention and slooowwwing down the aging process is good for my mental state!  Sunscreen (especially on my hands because my hands are looking old!!), lotions, serums, makeup tricks are going to be used daily to put my best 40+ face forward. I love being a beauty guinea pig and I’m willing to pretty much try anything.

Acceptance of myself.  This is still a work in progress.  I do believe the older I get the more confident I am in myself about certain things.  But as a human, we have those moments where we are too hard on ourselves and our own worst critics. I am super annoyed/self conscious by the road map of purple veins on my legs that I got due to childbirth of my last two of three kids. But I worked for hard those flaws and my kids are pretty darn awesome. I’ll use my leg makeup until I can afford the surgery to minimize them!  In the meantime, I love this post on reminding to give yourself a break.

So how I feel about turning 40 is best put by the late George Burns, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”  I completely agree. Who’s going dancing with me later?!! 

How about you? How old are you? If you’re 40+, what things surprised you about turning this age? If you’re not 40 yet, are you looking forward to that day or dreading it? 

P.S.  Here’s a popular post I did on 7 Hidden Secrets To Looking Younger With Makeup