I was so scared to turn 40. It seemed so old to me. FOUR DECADES is a lot of decades. You know?
I was so wrong. I have never been more wrong about anything in my life. Being 40 is exactly like being 20, except you have all your crap together.
Why do I love being 40? Let me count the ways.
You stop caring what others think about you. This is my favorite part of being 40. When a cashier looks at you like you have two heads because you can’t find your debit card in your wallet and have to go digging, you aren’t suddenly stressed out about it. You find your card, smile and hand it to her unapologetically.
Not caring when you are 40 is glorious.
Your body is your body, and that’s awesome. So you need to lose weight. You don’t like the shape of your feet. Maybe you think your nose is weird. When you hit 40, you look at your body and see the body that got you through the last 40 years. That isn’t just a body you’re rocking. IT IS A SUIT OF ARMOR. It was with you through childbirths, breakups, accidents, EVERYTHING. That body kept you safe and happy and it made beautiful things.
Thank you, body. I love you.
You can say no. People will ask you to volunteer on a committee, and your wisdom and time has taught you to be able to say no. Not because you’re busy, not because you have to work or have prior commitments, but just because you don’t want to.
You get to say no, and you know now that it isn’t going to change a damn thing.
It’s okay to not have plans on the weekend. 20 year old you would look at an empty weekend full of no plans and friends as a social fail. 20 year old you didn’t understand how much fun it was to hang out with yourself. She didn’t love you enough yet to understand how amazing you are. She didn’t know that a weekend alone was what you really wanted. She thought you wanted to go out and hang with people all the time.
40 year old you thinks a weekend on the couch watching Netflix alone is the best thing in the world.
She is right.
It’s not about them, it’s about you. There is no need to impress anyone. Ever. You don’t need the latest gadgets, your car doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. You don’t have to keep up with anyone. If you want the latest gadget for yourself, then go and get it– you have the financial independence now to make that happen. But 40 year old you isn’t doing it just to impress others.
The opinions of others aren’t as important as your happiness. And that is a very very cool thing.
Your kids are teenagers now, and they are freaking cool. Look, I get it, babies are ADORABLE. Toddlers are freakishly cute, and elementary aged kids are the jam. But teenagers? Teenagers are FUN. They go to the movies, they go shopping with you, they want to eat out at fun restaurants, and talk endlessly about EVERYTHING. Their lives are just beginning, and it’s so much fun to be with your teenager. They are a part of you. You MADE them in your belly after all. (Or maybe you didn’t, but you still raised a helluva kid.)
Your 40’s are for enjoying the people you brought up into this world. To see the people they are becoming. It’s awesome.
You aren’t old. You thought you would be so old when you were forty. When you were twenty you said things like “oh yeah when I am old and forty…” But, you had no idea just how young you REALLY would be at forty. You didn’t know how awesome it really was.
Forty isn’t old. It’s amazing.