40 Things 40 Is (and One Thing That It Isn’t)


I’m turning 40 next month. I suppose the idea of bidding final farewell to my thirties ought to furrow my brow a little, but it doesn’t.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had 39 years and 11 months to prepare for it. Maybe it’s because I survived my husband’s 40th freak-out earlier this year.

Or maybe it’s because 40 finally feels like I’m coming into my own.

Forty is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, 40 is:

1. Knowing (and really loving) grocery store music.

2. Having a doctor/dentist/CPA/boss who is younger than you.

3. The inability to recognize a single VMA nominee.

4. Saying things like, “Kids today … ” and actually meaning it.

5. Finding new moles and hairs that weren’t there yesterday.

6. Realizing your parents won’t be around forever.

7. Saying no without apology.

8. A little scary, but in a good way.

9. Googling “perimenopause.”

10. No longer caring about the Jones’s.

11. A 9PM bedtime.

12. Convos involving your back, bladder, and blood pressure.

13. Considering the whole “cougar” factor when choosing animal prints.

14. Feeling both offended and slightly relieved you’re no longer carded for booze.

15. All about sunscreen.

16. MIDDLE AGE? As if!

17. The new 30. (Or at least that’s what people over 40 say … )

18. Understanding that just because life isn’t fair, doesn’t mean you can’t be.

19. Deep responsibility for the world’s children.

20. Daily dietary fiber.

21. Being called “Ma’am.”

22. Calculating how old your parents were at pivotal moments of your life.

23. Calling movies and TV shows by all the wrong names.

24. Considering bangs to hide forehead wrinkles.

25. Not really getting the whole Snapchat thing.

26. Knowing my limits when it comes to: alcohol, stress, group texts, dairy, and bullshit.

27. Believing people when they tell/show you who they are.

28. Mammograms.

29. Refusing to waste precious time and energy.

30. Getting up to pee at least once in the middle of the night.

31. Realizing you don’t know everything.

32. Advil.

33. Scrolling down, down, dooooooooooown on drop-downs when selecting your birth year.

34. Lloyd Dobler, Jack Dawson, Dylan McKay, and Jordan Catalano (in no particular order).

35. Retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and antioxidants.

36. Being honest with yourself.

37. Anything you want it to be.

38. Boundaries.

39. Surprisingly sentimental for your parents.

40. A real blessing.

… and the one thing 40 is not? The end of anything not careers, babies, education, romance, goals, beauty, or good living!

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