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?
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!
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?
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
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