I turned 40 last year. It was dramatic. There’s a blog, a few drunk texts and one fairly accusatory message left on my parent’s answering machine (yes, they still have one) in my refusal to accept being out of my thirties.
To be honest, I wasn’t even drunk. Further, I have no idea why I was so adamant about there being a slight discrepancy of at least five years on my birth certificate – which would make me really 35 years old. I was just not ready to turn forty. But I’ve since calmed down and decided to give being 40 a go; mostly because I don’t really have a choice.
A lot of things happened on my way to 40, not the least of which is accepting the fact that I’m not in my 30s anymore. Some things are pretty awesome … and then there are things that kinda freak me out. But on the whole, it’s really not a bad place to be, age-wise. And, as it turns out, 40 isn’t really any different than being thirty-nine.
In honor of finally accepting the fact that I’m midway through the first year of a new decade, I’ve made a list of things that happened on my way to 40:
1. I have successfully raised a pretty awesome kid.
2. Looking at old pictures of me and thinking, Wow, what was I complaining about? I looked great!
3. Getting dolled up to go out on the weekend is too much work now.
4. I remember a time before computers and cellular phones and constantly bring it up – on my Twitter and Facebook feeds.
5. That one time I tried to explain to a 23 year old who The Jeffersons were…
6. I started to refer to the under 30-somethings as kids.
7. I know what I want and try not to waste time.
8. Slowly admitting that I need to exercise and eat right because it’s the only way I’m going to maintain a healthy body.
9. What metabolism?
10. CrossFitting my way to a more bad ass me.
11. My back hurts.
12. And my shoulders.
13. Actually, everything hurts.
14. I’ve learned to accept people’s flaws.
15. More importantly, I’ve accepted my own.
16. I pay my own bills.
17. Sex gets better – so I’ve heard.
18. I can enjoy being single even if I’d rather not be.
19. Being attracted to men my age and realizing they are more attracted to women half my age.
20. I can handle being rejected and dumped with class. And a blog post. But mostly class. A classy blog post?
21. Ignoring my ex(es) is a lot easier than it used to be.
22. I developed more confidence and self-awareness.
23. I stopped caring what people think.
24. I no longer try to be everything to everyone.
25. I have a one-piece bathing suit now. Okay, I have three.
26. I have worn Spanx under my workout gear before. It gets really hot.
27. I’ve started to silently petition for ‘mom jeans’ to make a come-back. The mid to low-rise ones are very unforgiving for curvy girls like me.
28. My ‘going out’ clothes have been replaced with a classier, age-appropriate wardrobe. Mostly.
29. I have to take vitamins now. Because I’m in the osteoporosis age bracket.
30. I can cook more than one good meal that doesn’t come out of a box or in a microwave.
31. There is increasingly less time between root coverage.
32. I am in constant fear of early on-set menopause.
33. Leaving the house without make-up happens more often than it should. And it never fails, I will see someone I know or WalMart will be full of hot guys that day.
34. I forget things all the time, like remembering what I’m trying not to forget.
35. I went from being described as a ‘MILF’ to a ‘cougar.’ Really? Being called a ‘cougar’ is like being called a ‘sexy cat lady,’ that’s more of an oxymoron than a compliment.
36. I found the strength to let go of people and situations that are toxic.
37. I’m older than most of my friends. I might be the oldest.
38. I find myself telling stories about my experiences and realizing I’ve lived a lot more of life than I had thought.
39. Every time I tell someone how old I am, they feign disbelief, subtract ten years off the number and I love them for it. Because I don’t feel forty.
40. I’ve finally started to admit my parents were pretty much right about a lot of things. And I’m hoping my daughter listens to me more than I listened to them.