I’ve been forty for eleven months now and I’ll be recommending it to all my friends. Come to forty. It’s fun!
When I was 38, I had a sort of meltdown, a WHAT AM I EVEN DOING! moment that freaked me out. Where had all that time I thought I had gone? “Forty is coming,” I thought. I’ve heard a lot of people say they felt that way about turning thirty, but I can’t remember that happening to me. I’ve always been a late bloomer. Forty was my thirty. Then my fortieth birthday came and it was like a weight had been lifted. I made it! The world did not end!
Today I read this article Age 40: Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That and felt that much of it applied to me. Amanda Clayman lists all the ways that being forty has improved her life. I love this and recommend you read it. I have a few things to add to my own list.
- I appreciate my health. Good health is often out of our hands- genetics, injuries, economics, etc all play into whether we have it or not. I’ve been lucky so far. I’m aware that I do have some responsibility to keep myself as healthy as I can. Osteoporosis runs in my family. I started exercising to combat it. I’m going to enjoy my good health for as long as I can.
- I feel more confident. I’m not afraid to speak up or say when I don’t know something. I don’t care if my question seems stupid to others.
- I’m not afraid to try new things, even if I have to do them on my own. If I waited for someone else to join me on a new project, I’d be waiting a long time. I took up weight lifting on my own, because no one I knew was interested in coming with me. I do not regret it. I’m working on being able to lift a man over my head.
- I wear what I want. Do you know how many articles there are out there written about what women shouldn’t wear over a “certain age”? Too many! Wear what you want. If I like it, it fits on my body, and I can afford it, I’m going to wear it. I was discussing this with a friend who said that in our mothers’ day there were limited choices. Forty meant frumpy. Women have a lot of fashion role models in their forties now too.
- I’m not going to cut my hair either. For some reason once you get past a certain age, you’re supposed to cut your hair short. Nope. My mother’s hair thinned over time so I’m hanging onto mine for as long as possible. Long hair, don’t care!
- I want to do all the things! There are so many things I want to do. I want to do them all right now.
- …But I can’t do them all right now. I have responsibilities. I must be an adult, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do them someday. I’ve got to look forward to something!
Of course, I don’t have it all figured out. I’m a work in progress. I’d like to care less what others think (it’s coming along). The physical signs of aging suck too. Maybe by the time I’m eighty I will give no bothers. I don’t think you have to wait to be forty to reap the benefits of forty. Maybe you’re there at 20, 30, or maybe it takes you until you’re 50, 60, 70, 80. Whatever, you do you!
For myself, I’m working on becoming Sally O’Malley by the time I’m fifty.