Oh Lordy. I’m 40.

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I’m 40 tomorrow.

I feel 30, but I’m 40.

Here’s the thing about turning 40, I started thinking about it the day I turned 39 and now I am SICK of it. I am ready to just be 40 instead of thinking I am almost 40.

The “I’m turning FORTY” realization made for a roller coaster of emotions over this past year. In hindsight, I behaved rather ridiculously so I thought it warranted a blog post about turning 40.  Please, someone tell me I am not alone with my journey on the Imminent 4-0 Cray Cray Train?

Blog post about turning 40

The Rah! Rah! Stage

When I turned 39, I went all Rah! Rah! about turning 40.  It wasn’t going to bother me! Life is good! Life is for LIVING! Let’s celebrate it! No time like the present! Woooo hooooo! I want to do new things!

This Rah! Rah! made me do things like go indoor rock climbing and trapeze flying. Damn daily deal sites for feeding my mania.


Botox or Bangs?

Then as the date loomed closer I started looking closer at my face. Geesh, I am really turning 40, and I have the fine lines to show for it.  Should I be DOING something about it?

As I was pondering this, I volunteered in my daughter’s 3rd grade class for the first time and a boy asked the teacher loudly in front of the class (talking about me) “Who is that? Is that your MOM?”

The teacher’s MOM?!

The teacher is not 22 right out of student teaching. She’s my age. Actually she’s two years older. 

Are you kidding me? Was I the teacher’s MOM?

She thought it was quite hilarious. I did not.

That same week I was shopping for a costume at a Salvation Army and the lady asked if I was over 55 to get the Senior Citizens 30% off Wednesdays discount?

I almost jumped over the counter and wrung her neck. Was I OVER 55?! I had to convince myself that she didn’t actually look at me but asked everyone in hopes of getting them that 30% off, but REALLY?! Was I on Punked? Is the Universe playing a cruel joke on me?

That pushed me over the edge. OK, I need to do something. Grow bangs? Get Botox? Buy some daily deal to laser out my 39 years?  Fill some lines up with God knows what?

So I made a Botox appointment.

I had done it a few times in the past, but never kept it up, because although effective, when looking at photos I sort of thought I looked a little odd.  But odd was better than Senior Citizen 30% discount, right?

The topic of Botox came up with my sister around and told me, like only a sister would, to NOT do it. Yes, that’s what sisters are for, they will say the things friends can’t. Because we can’t un-sister them.

But she was right,  even with the fine lines and wrinkles, I do think my face looks better when it moves. So, what’s an almost 40 girl to do?

Enter PartyZilla.


Now the question was, how am I going to commemorate this milestone? Pretend it didn’t happen or celebrate it? I am in the celebrate it category.  If the big 4-0 was imminent, I might as well use it as an excuse to have the celebration of the century!

So I threw myself into the throes of thinking about what I wanted to do for my 40th.

My husband wanted to throw me a party because, well, I love parties. I used to be a party planner, if that tells you just how much I love parties, so we started off planning a small party. Then I became obsessed.

Everything about “MY 40TH” became SUPER important. I lost my marbles and I knew it.

PartyZilla had to be exorcised.

Special thank you to my husband for remaining married to me. Moving on…

Time to Let Go 

Let Go

Here’s the deal. I had to let go. I was turning 40, like it or not. It took the entire year to get here, but I finally came to the stage of acceptance.

Yes, I am as close to 60 as I am to 20. Yes, I have fine lines because I have made expressions the last 40 years.  Yes, the metabolism isn’t what it used to be, but when I finally, finally let go, I made some importation self-realizations.

Looking back, my 20’s were spent sort of insecure and lost; trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. Once, I finally had a better idea of who I was when I hit 30, I had my babies.

That changed everything.

My identity. My priorities. Everything. 

I spent my 30’s figuring out who I was as ME in this new role as Mom. I have grown more as a person in the last 4 years than I have in any years of my adult life – and have worked so hard to find myself and create a life that is balanced.  And sorry to sound so cheesy, but I truly LOVE my life.  My husband, my kids, my family, my friends, the experiences I have had, they are what make me THIS happy and it has been 40 years in the making.  There is a lot to be grateful for.

I’m Gonna Let This Little 40-Year-Old Light Shine 

My cousin Kristin, or more accurately, my dad’s cousin Kristin, is an esthetician and I started seeing her for facials regularly a few months ago.  Incidentally, regular facials are the one thing I am doing for my face these days and it is definitely an improvement. Although I have to visit Salvation Army on a Wednesday again to test it.

During my facial time, we have some really great conversations about life and aging and philosophy.

This last week we were on the topic of turning 40, and she told me, you know, when it comes down to it, beauty isn’t about the number, it’s about the inner light that shines in all of us.

She’s so right.  I am attracted to people with beautiful lights, and when someone is a beautiful person, that overshadows all the rest. I am going to spend my 40’s working on my light, instead of my lines, and let my little 40-year-old light shine as I exclaim, “Good Lordy!!! I’m 40!!!!!!!”

Bring it ON!!


photo credit: the talented www.kristineldridge.com


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  1. 1
    Susanne says:

    HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I have to say of all the mention of crazy in this post the Salvation Army lady is the only one who fits the bill. You are perfectly sane and awesome and I feel
    SO lucky to call you my friend. LOVE your light!!! Xoxoxo

    • 2
      jen says:

      Thank you Susanne! LOVE your light!

  2. 3
    Shanna says:

    Happy birthday beautiful mama!!!!! For the record, I always thought you were mid 30s

    • 4
      jen says:

      God Bless you Shanna… 🙂

  3. 5
    Susanne says:

    Oh and GORGEOUS family photo!!!

    • 6
      jen says:

      Thank you! Kristin Eldridge is magic!

  4. 7
    Allison says:

    Happy Birthday. You are both beautiful inside and out. I am so fortunate to have your light shine on my life. XOXO

    • 8
      jen says:

      Thanks Allison! I feel the same way about you! XO

  5. 9
    Nicki says:

    Happy happy birthday! 40 really is fabulous!

    • 10
      jen says:

      Thank you Nicki! I have to say, life just keeps getting better, so if that’s the case, the 40’s are going to be a lot of fun!

  6. 11
    Suzanne says:

    Happy Birthday, Jen! Wishing you all the best today and always. (Gorgeous family photo and great post.)

    • 12
      jen says:

      Thank you Suzanne! xo

  7. 13
    Christy says:

    Absolutely beautiful, inside and out!!! Loved this blog, and love your gorgeous family picture!!! Happy, happy birthday!! Cheers to the best year yet!!! Xoxo

    • 14
      jen says:

      Thank you Christy! XO

  8. 15
    Devon says:

    Happy birthday!!! Love this post. You’re hot. Everyone in their 40’s is hot, my husband and I were just having this discussion the other night. Keep up the celebrating (and Groupons, because Trapeze is awesome).

    • 16
      jen says:

      God bless you Devon. I have to say, when looking at all my friends that are my age, they all somehow look BETTER than they did in our 20’s. Something to say for that!

  9. 17
    Stefan says:

    Happy birthday babe! Now I am prepared for when you turn 50.

    • 18
      jen says:

      I love you. Send me this post the day I turn 49 as a reminder…

  10. 19
    Lisa says:

    I’m with your sister Jen. You keep working on those wrinkles. I’m particularly fond of all wrinkles that are a result of big beautiful smiles. Just like the ones in that beautiful picture above. Happy 4-0 my friend. My heart is crushed that I have to miss your party, but my outfit will attend on Shannon Muir’s body. 🙂

    • 20
      jen says:

      Thanks Lisa! Although the ones in that photo above have likely been Photoshopped! Thanks for the bday wishes! XOOXO

  11. 21
    Suzanne says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SISTER!! I’m glad you can’t un-sister me 😉 I loved everything about this post. Like most things in life, you are forging the path for me a few years ahead. And I’m so grateful for that!! I love you more than you ever can know….you shine so much joy into my life and my boys’ lives too!! You are the best mommy, sister, friend and Auntie anyone could even wish for. LOVE YOU!!

    • 22
      jen says:

      LOVE YOU SISTER! Thank you for making me cancel my Botox appt. You saved me a lot of money! 🙂

  12. 23
    lisa says:

    Jen, Happy Birthday!! You look beautiful!

    • 24
      jen says:

      Thank you Lisa!

  13. 25
    Aimee says:

    Perfectly said! Happy Birthday Jen

  14. 26

    Happy Birthday!!and pray to God to fulfill all your wishes.

    • 27
      jen says:

      Thank you Ravi! He already has!

  15. 28
    Holly Giuliano says:

    LOVE this post and could not agree more! I have 10 months to go till 40 and I have to say that the last 5 years have been the best of my life! Happy 40th Jen! Gorgeous photo by the way….don’t look a day over 25!

    • 29
      jen says:

      Thank you Holly! Enjoy your last 10 months in the 30’s and I have to say, turning 40 was a WHOLE lot of fun! You have a lot to look forward to!

  16. 30
    Rhayanna says:

    This should give you a smile- shake 40 off! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA3l6OAHqKI

  17. 31
    2014 Recap says:

    […] Flying trapeze. Like the circus kind. Still makes me laugh. […]

  18. 32
    Mantrabands says:

    […] one of my favorites is, “Let Your Light Shine” because I wrote a post about turning 40 and how beauty is really about the light that shines within each of us. When I saw they had a […]

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